Hope Secondary. (GoogleMaps)

B.C. teacher suspended for incessantly messaging student, writing friendship letter

Female teacher pursued Grade 12 student for friendship even after being rebuked

A teacher in the Fraser-Cascade School District has been handed a two-month suspension and ordered to take workplace training after inappropriately pursuing a student in person and on social media.

Chelsea Dawn Cromarty, a social studies teacher at Hope Secondary School, did not dispute the facts outlined in the decision by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, including that she contacted the student on social media, in person, wrote a letter, and messaged while drunk.

The incident began with the Grade 12 student in the second semester of 2017-2018 while in Cromarty’s class.

The student graduated in June of 2018, a month before which Cromarty connected with the student — whose gender is not identified in the decision — using Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

“These messages were not school-related and became increasingly personal and she disclosed to the student personal information about herself,” according to the decision signed by Commissioner Howard Kushner on Oct. 29, 2019.

On a later occasion, Cromarty invited the student to talk in a separate room during class time. They talked about personal matters, including about her marriage.

RELATED: Chilliwack teacher suspended 5 days for touching colleague’s buttocks

RELATED: B.C. teacher suspended for obscene language, sarcasm to both students and parents

On June 19, Cromarty invited the student to “hang” out with her, something the student accepted then later declined. That same day, she picked the student up at his/her home and they went for a drive. Cromarty exchanged messages with the student that evening even though she knew the student had an exam the next morning.

That next morning, June 20, Cromarty sent a message to the student about the exam: “Get your ass in gear. You need to be here before 9.”

The student felt uncomfortable about the teacher’s attention, and stopped responding, according to the Commissioner’s report.

Cromarty, however, did not back down and continued to contact the student. In early July, she sent a three-page letter about her desire to be friends.

On Aug. 4, Cromarty messaged the student again stating she wanted to be friends and that she was “incredibly drunk” and “sad about the way things ended.”

There were more contacts via social media, culminating in Cromarty sending a personal message in November 2018 in which she wrote “I just wanted to check if things had changed” and “I get the sense that there is no way for me to rectify my past actions.”

On Dec. 6, 2018 the District disciplined Cromarty by reprimanding her and requiring her to complete a “boundaries” workshop offered by the BC Teachers’ Federation.

On Aug. 16, 2019, the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation considered the matter and proposed a consent resolution agreement.

Cromarty admitted all the facts laid out in the case, and admits the conduct pursuing the student constitutes professional misconduct, contrary to B.C. educational standards.

In addition to the two-month suspension, she was ordered to complete a course entitled “Reinforcing Respectful Professional Boundaries” by March 31, 2020.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Beefs & Bouquets, Aug. 12

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo Art Gallery summer campers explore private, public spaces in new show

Dazzle Camouflage participants to unveil painting and video projects online next week

‘Unstoppable’ Nanaimo nurse recognized for work caring for survivors of assault

Island Health’s Aimee Falkenberg receives Canadian Forensic Nurses Association’s Visionary Award

Regional District of Nanaimo urges residents to sign up for new emergency alert system

RDN aligns its alert technology with Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum Beach

‘Food 4 Summer’ campaign in Nanaimo receives $10,000 from Island Savings

Loaves and Fishes trying to build new donor relationships during pandemic

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

Teen killer Kelly Ellard gets day parole extension, allowing up to 5 days at home

Ellard is serving a life sentence for the 1997 murder of 14-year-old Reena Virk

Andrew Scheer likely marking last day in House of Commons as Opposition leader

Today’s Commons sitting is one of two scheduled for August

Deaths feared after train derails amid storms in Scotland

Stonehaven is on the line for passenger trains linking Aberdeen with the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow

DFO says 5 aggrieved B.C First Nations were consulted on fisheries plan

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations calls response ‘a sham,’ adding DFO never incorporates their views

Man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near Vancouver Island mall

RCMP in Parksville report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Lower Mainland woman gives birth on in-laws’ driveway

Frédérique Gagnon new son is appropriately named after Norse trickster god

Nanaimo tourism contest assures visitors ‘we’re ready for you’

Nanaimo Hospitality Association and partners offering prizes of hotel stays and tourism experiences

Most Read