A veteran school teacher who ran for Coquitlam school trustee in 2014 has been disciplined by the Teacher Regulation Branch for throwing a dumbbell at a student.
Larry Ryan, who lived in Coquitlam at the time of his election bid and is a Burnaby high school teacher, “failed to model appropriate behaviour expected of an educator,” according to a conflict resolution agreement.
The circumstances, as laid out in the online document, state the incident occurred in a Burnaby school secondary on Jan. 13, 2020 when Ryan was teaching a P.E. class.
At the time, Ryan was responding to a situation where a Grade 12 student attempted to toss a dumbbell to a classmate but it fell to the floor instead.
According to the statement of facts, Ryan said in a loud voice, “What is stupider, throwing a dumbbell across the gym or trying to catch it?”
When the student attempted to explain that dropping the dumbbell had been an accident, Ryan picked up the dumbbell and threw it “aggressively, underhand” toward the student and saying loudly, “Do you think this is an accident?”
Thrown from a distance of approximately three feet, the dumbbell would have struck the student’s face if the student had not caught it, according to the statement.
On March 3, 2020, the district issued Ryan a letter of discipline. The Burnaby teacher was required to apologize to the students, their parents and to the students in the four classes that were present In the gym that day, and to engage in counselling.
In a decision by the teachers’ branch commissioner, Ryan was given a one-day suspension of his certificate of qualification under sections 53 and 64(b) of the Teachers Act. He will serve the suspension on Feb. 12.