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Delta private school band teacher suspended after telling student to “go kill yourself, it won’t matter anyway”



Students perform at the MusicFest Canada event in Montreal in May 2004. A Delta teacher whose band performed at this event in 2017 has been suspended. The students in this photo are not connected to the story.


MARIE FRANCE COALLIER / GAZETTE

A Delta music teacher has been suspended for three days for, among other things, telling a Grade 9 student to “go kill yourself, it won’t matter anyway” after the child fell over a musical instrument.

According to a consent resolution agreement issued by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, teacher Boris Pekarsky will be suspended on June 25, 26 and 27 and admits to a string of wrongdoing.

The case goes back to November 28, 2016, when Pekarsky was teaching band class at an independent school in Delta. That school was Southpointe Academy in Tsawwassen, where Pekarsky was band director.

The ruling stated Pekarsky yelled at a student for being “not on task.” That student moved to sit down and in the process tripped over a percussion instrument, causing a loud noise. Pekarsky then told that student, and another, to leave the class.

According to the ruling, as the pair were leaving, the teacher told the first student words to the effect of “go kill yourself, it won’t matter anyway.”

Several students heard the comment and were shocked and upset but there was no immediate disciplinary action taken.

In January of 2017, Pekarsky took aside a select group of students from the class and told them he was having problems with some students in the class who were “acting out.” He named those students and then asked the gathered classmates how he should deal with his problem.

While not stated in the ruling, at some point the school administration learned of the incidents and on Jan 25, 2017 disciplined Pekarsky with a 10 day unpaid suspension.

According to an article in the Times Colonist, Pekarsky’s intermediate wind orchestra won gold at the MusicFest Canada event held in June, 2017. It is not known whether Pekarsky is still teaching at Southpointe Academy.

It wasn’t until November 2018, that the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation Howard Kushner “considered the matter.”

The ruling does not state why it took this period of time before the matter was considered.

Perkarsky admitted to all the allegations. He agreed that he had not treated all students with respect and dignity, did not consider that telling a student words to the effect of go kill yourself was hurtful, lacked insight about the problems caused when he brought up the topic of bad students with other students and created an unhealthy dynamic in the classroom.

He has agreed not to make any statement orally or in writing which contradicts or calls into questions any of the statements of fact in the commissioner’s ruling.

 

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