One-month suspension for principal of Abbotsford private school
The principal of an Abbotsford private school has been suspended from his job for one month for professional misconduct in relation to a 2009 matter involving a teacher who sent suggestive text messages to a student.
Ted Brennan's suspension through the Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB) is in effect for the entire month of July.
As an administrator at St. John Brebeuf Regional Secondary School, he was originally slated to work during this time.
The suspension relates to Brennan's actions involving teacher Martin Careen, with whom he was friends, according to the "consent resolution agreement" from the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.
Careen was convicted of invitation to sexual touching and sentenced to a 60-day jail term in May 2012 for sending sexual text messages to a female student, then 17, in the late evening and early morning of Jan. 27 and 28, 2009.
According to the TRB documents, Careen wrote to Brennan, who was the school's vice-principal at the time, on Jan. 29 of that year to say he had received a sexually explicit text from an unidentified female.
"Although it occurred to Brennan that the text message might involve a student at the school, he took no steps to either investigate the matter further or to report the incident to the school principal," the documents state.
Brennan co-operated with police when he was informed in April 2009 that Careen, who has since been banned from teaching, was under investigation and that a student at the school was involved.
Brennan attended the first day of Careen's preliminary hearing, at the direction of the school principal, in March 2010, and was seen shaking Careen's hand and that of his wife, Sandra.
Brennan was also seen going for lunch with Sandra and leaving the courthouse parking lot with the Careens at the end of the day.
These actions prompted a parent of the school, who was also at the courthouse, to complain to the superintendent of the Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA), saying that she saw Brennan's action as being openly supportive of the Careens.
A TRB investigator looking into the Careen matter was advised in April 2012 that Brennan had been aware of the suggestive text exchange, but had taken no action to determine whether a student was involved.
In June 2012, the CISVA superintendent made a report to the branch about Brennan.
The consent resolution agreement outlining Brennan's one-month suspension was signed last month.
Sandra Careen, also a St. John Brebeuf teacher, received a five-month suspension – from Sept. 1, 2013 to Jan. 31, 2014 – for failing to report to school officials that her husband had exchanged the inappropriate messages with a student.
She was also given a one-month unpaid suspension by CISVA in June 2012 and was required to issue a written apology to the student.