B.C.’s Commissioner for Teacher Regulation has suspended a Chilliwack teacher for a month for crossing a student’s personal boundaries.
A discipline summary said high school teacher Sheldon Lyle Nickel told students he loved them, gave them hugs and kisses, and communicated with them while drunk.
The decision, released July 26, said Nickel had taught student A and student B at the school.
It said when student A was in Grade 11 and going through a difficult time, Nickel gave them a hug and a kiss on the forehead.
Before their Grade 12 year started, Nickel met with student A and student B for lunch and gave them each a hug afterwards, noted the decision.
According to the document, when student A was in Grade 12, Nickel crossed personal boundaries with the student by sharing his personal problems, sending multiple text messages, and calling crying, after he had been drinking.
And when student B was in Grade 12, the decision said Nickel crossed personal boundaries by writing the student multiple text messages, asking what they were doing and that he loved and missed them.
Some of these messages were written when Nickel was on personal leave, the decision said.
On occasion, Nickel drove student B alone in his car, even though he had been told by the school principal in the spring of 2019 that he should not do so.
The commissioner said Nickel engaged in inappropriate electronic communication with students, shared inappropriate information about himself with students and failed to respect their physical space.
Nickel had been previously warned about inappropriate interactions with students, the decision said.
The commissioner combined the two cases in November 2021. Reports about the two students’ cases came individually from a youth care worker and the school district.