Teacher allowed class to vote on whether to view Internet video of killing; collective agreement prohibited ‘misconduct or immorality’
A Quebec high school teacher has been fired after showing his class a video believed to show accused killer Luka Magnotta murdering his last victim.
The 29-year-old history and civics teacher at Cavelier-de-Lasalle school in Montreal was discussing current events with his Grade 10 class on June 4 when the students asked him to show the video, which had been posted on the Internet. The teacher held a vote and the students voted overwhelmingly to view the 11-minute video, which supposedly shows Magnotta stabbing and dismembering university student Jun Lin, whose body was found in a suitcase in late May and whose hands and feet were mailed to Ottawa and B.C. After the class watched the video, they discussed it and its distribution online for an hour.
The school’s vice-principal learned of the viewing later that day and suspended the teacher with pay. Counsellors were made available to students who may have been traumatized by the viewing. The teacher apologized for the incident after being suspended.
The school board investigated and determined the teacher had violated the collective bargaining agreement, which listed “misconduct or immorality” as reasons for ending a teacher’s contract. The board also felt the teacher’s actions had a serious impact on the students.
“The unacceptable nature of the action by the teacher required a decisive response,” said school board president Diane Lamarche-Venne in a statement.