Coquitlam teacher quits his job for not quitting touching his students

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A Coquitlam elementary school teacher resigned his post following an investigation into a series of allegations he engaged in inappropriate touching with his young students.

The details surrounding the last few years of Kevin James Buffel’s teaching career were revealed recently via documents filed by the British Columbia Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.

According to the documents, Buffel was warned by officials at School District 43 numerous times to curb his touching behaviour with his young charges. Those warnings date back to the 2011-2012 school year, and in September 2013 included a caution that failing to stop touching his students inappropriately could “end his career.”

Buffel was warned a further time in late fall 2013 about touching, including specifically regarding letting children sit on his lap.

In January 2014, Buffel was found with a female student on his lap as his Grade 2/3 class sat in the darkened classroom watching a movie. Buffel had, in fact, continued to allow girls to sit in his lap, as well as pick them up and give them hugs.

Additionally, Buffel’s school-issued computer was found to have been used to access websites which “included graphic pictures of private human anatomy and television shows of a highly sexual nature and/or about inappropriate relationships between adults and children, including incest,” according to the filing. Buffel also was found to have been using his computer for personal matters during teaching hours, such as to communicate with his wife, peruse eBay and Craigslist, and read articles of personal interest not pertaining to his work.

Buffel was suspended with pay on January 20, 2014. He officially resigned on May 14, 2014, and on June 5 signed documents guaranteeing he would no longer teach.

Featured image: Empty classroom/Shutterstock

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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