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BC teacher suspended for 2 months after recording female students without their consent

A British Columbia teacher has been suspended for two months after taking pictures and recording videos of mostly female students without their consent.

Marcel Vasile Sincraian was also found to have sent non-school-related messages to students over Instagram, including on weekends.

Sincraian – then a math and science teacher at School District 38 (Richmond) – told some students they were his favourites, gave students letters in which he discussed his romantic relationships and persistently “engaged in inappropriate conduct towards female students” in person and online.

The incidents occurred during the 2018–19 school year, but the BC Commissioner for Teacher Regulation only released the report on Sincraian this week.

Most of the details relating to the matter have been withheld from the report in an attempt to protect the identities of the students affected.

“Sincraian took photographs and video-recordings of students and students shared photographs which he stored on his phone,” the report explains.

<who> Photo credit: 123RF

“Most of these photographs and recordings are of female students and some were taken without the knowledge or consent of the students. He did not consider whether the parents had given consent for images to be taken of their children at school.”

It adds: “Sincraian engaged in inappropriate conduct towards female students, which included communication both in person and through social media about personal matters and was persistent in his attention to them, despite their attempts to rebuff him.”

Sincraian resigned from his job with SD38 on June 30, 2019.

On Oct. 5, 2021, he agreed with the Commissioner that his actions constitute professional misconduct.

He also agreed to a two-month suspension of his teaching certificate.

The Commissioner’s report adds: “Sincraian attended sessions with a registered psychologist to understand appropriate professional boundaries and how to maintain them.”

It also explains that Sincraian must complete the course “Reinforcing Respectful Professional Boundaries” through the Justice Institute and work with a mentor – another teacher – who will provide guidance on interacting with students.

The Commissioner said the suspension and course were justified because “a. there were multiple boundary violations of different types, which occurred with several students, and b. [they] occurred over a period of one-third of the school year.”

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