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Port Alberni teacher suspended for touching student during athletic demonstration

Teacher didn’t warn student or ask permission: BC Commissioner for Teacher Regulation
School District 70-Pacific Rim’s head office is located in Port Alberni, B.C. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)

A secondary school teacher and wrestling coach from Port Alberni has been disciplined for demonstrating an athletic technique on a student without the student’s consent.

Russ Bodnar served two different suspensions in 2022, which were laid out in a recent decision made public by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.

On Nov. 17, 2021, without warning, Bodnar used a student to demonstrate a wrestling technique. The movement required him to physically interact with the student, whose identity has been protected; the incident made the student uncomfortable.

Officials from School District 70 — Pacific Rim reported the incident to the B.C. Commissioner a month after it happened. Bodnar received a letter of discipline from the district, was removed from all coaching duties and served a three-day suspension from Jan. 4–7, 2022.

Bodnar completed the Justice Institute of B.C. course, Reinforcing Respectful Boundaries, in March 2022 and signed a consent resolution agreement Nov. 21 admitting to professional misconduct. He agreed to a one-day suspension of his certification of qualification on Dec. 5.

“Bodnar failed to appreciate the emotional and physical impact of his contact…without Student A’s consent,” the commissioner stated in the decision.

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About the Author: Alberni Valley News Staff

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