The district’s investigation found that the Burnaby teacher on call did not provide the students with safety instructions and yelled, “Are you ready? Let’s go” before some of the students “rushed ahead, and ran to the park, crossing both roads without adult supervision and out of Rhodes’ eyesight.”

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A Burnaby teacher on call will be suspended one day and limited to teaching high school students after he endangered students and then asked a colleague to lie on his behalf during the district’s ensuing investigation.

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the consent resolution agreement signed last month by Michael John Rhodes and posted by the BC Teacher Regulation Branch this week details how Rhodes was teaching a Grade 5 and 6 class in May 2021 when the events took place.

While taking the class to a park about a five- to 10-minute walk away, Rhodes and the students crossed two roads, one of which involved a busy intersection.

The district’s investigation found that Rhodes did not provide the students with safety instructions and yelled, “Are you ready? Let’s go” before some of the students “rushed ahead, and ran to the park, crossing both roads without adult supervision and out of Rhodes’ eyesight.”

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While at the park, Rhodes did not stop students from having a sword fight with 18-inch sticks and instead commented, “Let kids be kids, let boys be boys.”

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When the district launched its investigation, Rhodes was found to have approached one of two education assistants who had accompanied the class during the park visit and “asked her to lie to the school principal on his behalf by saying that she had heard him yell at the students who were running ahead to slow down and wait.”

As a result, Rhodes was issued a letter of discipline, suspended without pay for seven days and is limited to teaching secondary school students.

Rhodes had previously been issued another letter of discipline in 2020 by the district after he shaved a student’s head at the student’s request but without the student’s parents or school administration permission. On that occasion, he had been instructed to take a course with the Justice Institute of BC and had also been limited to teaching to secondary schools until the course was complete.

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