A high school teacher in the Elk Valley was disciplined for criticizing students supporting a peer in the LGBTQ community.
The BC Teachers Regulation Branch released a report this week that says Tami Lynne Chechotko was suspended without pay for two days last year.
The punishment was issued following a confrontation in December 2016 at Elkford Secondary.
Chechotko is said to have lectured Grade 11 and 12 students who decided to cross-dress in solidarity with a friend.
She said she was disappointed in the youth and their actions were disrespectful and offensive, “like painting their face black or wearing a feather headdress,” the report reads.
The teacher did go to the school’s vice-principal to express her concerns but the VP said they were aware of the activity and administration was comfortable with it.
However, Chechotko then addressed students in her math class saying cross-dressing could make students question someone’s sexuality which could potentially result in suicide.
“This comment was deeply upsetting for at least one of the students,” the report says.
Later on in the day, four students who were supposed to be in Chechotko’s Foods class went to the library instead.
Chechotko went to the library and found one of the students crying.
According to the regulation branch , “Chechotko became loud and agitated, interrupting and talking over the assembled students about why the cross-dressing was inappropriate.”
The branch says students who heard these comments reported feeling very upset by it.
It’s not the first time Chechotko had been disciplined by the school district.
She had been spoke to on two previous occasions in 2016, including one where she reportedly made upsetting comments to a vulnerable students about her family.