A B.C. school teacher has been reprimanded after multiple complaints were filed against him, including one in which Grade 3 students on a school bus were told he would “rip out” their vocal cords if they raised their voices.
Edward Gerrit Timmermans, who was teaching in School District 63 in Saanich on Vancouver Island, agreed to a statement of facts through B.C.’s commissioner for teacher regulation that included an admission of professional misconduct. The commissioner found that Timmermans “failed to treat students equitably with acceptance, dignity and respect and failed to show adequate care for students’ mental and emotional wellbeing; and Timmermans failed to model appropriate behaviour expected of an educator.”
Multiple infractions were detailed in the disciplinary report, including Timmermans’ behaviour on a bus with a Grade 3 class during a field trip.
“Using the microphone on the bus, he welcomed the students, made a few jokes and then added: ‘If you need to stand up to shout across the bus you need to understand that I will rip out your vocal cords and then throw them out the window,” the agreement states.
In another, a student referred to themselves as “dumb” and Timmermans responded that the student “was not dumb as ‘dumb means you are unable to speak and clearly you are speaking’,” the report said. “In retelling the story to colleagues as a meeting, Timmermans was remind that some students are non-verbal. Timmermans responded by saying: ‘Yeah, and they are dumb.’”
On April 28, 2001, Timmermans addressed a Grade 7 Indigenous student about the clothes they were wearing by saying, “Perhaps (Student A) is laughing at you because of what you’re wearing,” the report said. “He also said: ‘You have your bra hanging out and people are going to look at you.’”
Timmermans must complete a course through the Justice Institute of B.C. or face a suspension of his teaching certificate.
Timmermans was suspended by SD63 for one month without pay but has not served it. However, he ended up resigning from the school district effective June 30, 2022.
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