A West Vancouver teacher has been reprimanded for using his school computer to access porn – and inadvertently showing it to a classroom full of students.
The B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation published a decision Nov. 28 detailing the discipline for Jeffrey Muthanna, who teaches at Caulfeild Elementary.
For two years, Muthanna had been using his school district-issued laptop to access pornographic images and a chat room during non-work hours, according to the decision, something prohibited by the district.
On June 2, 2016, Muthanna was using the laptop to give a presentation to his Grade 6/7 class. While attempting to project an educational website from the laptop onto a classroom whiteboard, “a picture of female genitalia from an internet ‘pop up’ was inadvertently projected onto the screen and was seen by students and an education assistant,” the commissioner’s decision noted.
One of the kids told their parents, who then contacted the school principal.
“We took the safety of our students as our foremost concern. We seized the computer equipment. We provided it directly to the West Vancouver Police Department. They did a full forensic analysis of the computer to ensure that there was no criminal behaviour or safety issue for children,” said Kim Martin, associate superintendent for the school district. “Once they told us that no criminal charges would be laid, we went through the remainder of our disciplinary process.”
On Sept. 13, the West Vancouver school district issued Muthanna a letter of discipline and suspended him without pay for 13 days, which is “pretty much at the max” for suspensions, Martin said.
Muthanna admitted to the transgression and consented to the disciplinary action, according to the decision.
Muthanna remains a teacher at Caulfeild and has the confidence of the district, Martin added.
“He’s a good teacher. I think he made a terrible personal mistake, but … he’s given us his assurances that it will never happen again and we take him at his word,” Martin said.
Such incidents are very rare in West Vancouver’s schools, Martin added.
The commissioner publishes teachers’ discipline outcomes to “provide the public with the confidence that educators who fail to meet the standards are held accountable.”