B.C. administrator punished for tying boys together at ankles

Principal had tethered students together like a ‘three-legged race’ to help them to get along

A former school administrator in B.C. has been reprimanded for tying two students together at the ankles to try to get them to get along, subsequently triggering memories of residential schools.

According to the B.C. Commisioner for Teacher Regulation, Cheryl Louise Lloyd was consulted by a primary teacher in May of 2015 at an unnamed independent school about two Grade 2 boys who were struggling to get along – in some cases using inappropriate physical contact.

Lloyd suggested that the pair spend a day tied together at the ankle, three-legged-race style, to “help them learn to communicate and work in co-operation with each other.”

She spoke to the students’ parent and caregiver, who agreed with the plan. She then told the boys they would be tied “loosely” together with a strip of a T-shirt for the day of May 14, having to use their words to work together.

Lloyd checked on the two students a number of times during the day, according to documents.

They could untie themselves when one needed to use the washrooms, but had to remain tied together at lunch hour.

According to media reports, the commissioner actually examined this case earlier this year, and ruled the students weren’t treated respectfully, but took no action against the teacher involved. A family member then filed a petition in court to have that ruling reviewed.

In this latest decision, the commissioner called Lloyd’s conduct “not appropriately sensitive” to the history of residential schools, and the impact the approach would have on the community.

Lloyd agreed to be reprimanded and take a course on creating a positive learning environment. In March, she took part in a healing circle with the affected First Nation.