The School District 70 administration office in Port Alberni. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO

The School District 70 administration office in Port Alberni. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO

Talking vaping with students against principal’s orders gets B.C. teacher reprimanded

Conversations took place at a secondary school in School District 70 Pacific Rim

A Vancouver Island teacher has been reprimanded for discussing vaping with his students.

A consent resolution agreement was published by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation on June 8, 2021, stating that teacher Terrence Andrew Makofka engaged in “inappropriate conversations” with students while he was a teacher on call (TOC) at a secondary school in School District 70 Pacific Rim.

The district includes schools in Port Alberni and on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

According to the consent resolution agreement, the school’s principal received a complaint from a parent back in December 2018 that Makofka had discussed vaping with a class. The principal spoke with Makofka and asked him to stop discussing vaping with students.

On March 26, 2019, a Grade 9 student approached Makofka and asked him about vaping and the amount of nicotine in his vape.

“In the context of advising the student how he had just quit vaping, Makofka answered the student’s question about tapering down nicotine levels and then told the student what his favourite vaping flavours were and where they could be purchased,” the agreement states. “This contravened the direction given to him by the principal.”

READ MORE: Youth vaping rates levelled off in 2020, while number of smokers declines

The school district issued Makofka a letter of discipline and suspended him for five days from the TOC list, starting Sept. 4, 2019.

The agreement notes that this isn’t the first time concerns have been raised about Makofka’s conduct by the school district. In June 2016, Makofka was suspended for four days for failure to properly care for an injured student, and in December 2016 he was suspended for 10 days for failure to inform school administration that a fight had broken out between two students, resulting in an injury to one of them.

Makofka has received a formal reprimand. According to the agreement, Makofka agreed to the reprimand and acknowledged that his conduct was contrary to professional standards. A reprimand is recorded on the B.C. Ministry of Education’s online registry.

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