B.C. teacher cleared of misconduct for making boy cry

Michael Mui, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:09 PM ET

VANCOUVER -- A Burnaby, B.C., teacher-librarian who made a Grade 8 boy cry at a public forum has been cleared of misconduct by the B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch.

Sharon Gail Freeman was at an all-candidates meeting for the previous Burnaby school board election on Nov. 1, 2011, when a boy approached the microphone and asked his question.

“Last year I witnessed my teacher duct tape another student’s mouth shut ... during class. I was just wondering what would be an appropriate, ah, disciplinary action to that?” the boy asked.

But before the moderator could fully respond, Freeman was videotaped interjecting — looking directly at the boy and saying the question was “inappropriate” and it was the boy’s responsibility to report the matter to the principal immediately.

The boy held his hands up to his face and left. He was later found crying in the washroom, the disciplinary report said.

Freeman — who pointed out that she’s a Burnaby Teachers’ Association officer — ended up apologizing to the room and added that the duct-tape behaviour is unacceptable.

In a decision published this month, Freeman was cleared of misconduct.

“There was no evidence led by the commissioner of harm to (the boy) save for the tears he shed at the meeting,” the decision read.

“He testified that he has gone on to enjoy a career as a child actor, has been in a number of commercials and at least one film production. Also, he testified he is now a member of his school’s debate team.”

The decision noted he has no “ill will” towards Freeman, who has had an “unblemished” record as a teacher since 1981.


Videos

Photos