Teacher's comments about Islam net reprimand

Vancouver teacher removed Facebook posts “insulting" to major religions

A Vancouver teacher has been reprimanded for comments he made about B.C. Mosque Day on Facebook, comments the B.C. Commission for Teacher regulation said are “discourteous and disrespectful.

Open Mosque Day B.C. placed a public advertisement on Facebook in January 2019 inviting people to “explore BC’s major Mosques as we open doors to welcome everyone.”

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The commission said in a decision released Tuesday that, John William Yetman

“wrote intemperate and insulting comments about religion. Members of the public saw Yetman’s post, and some reported feeling concerned that a teacher would display this level of intolerance.”

The commission said when the post was brought to Yetman’s attention, he removed it, “as well as other similar Facebook posts which were insulting of other major religions.”

The Vancouver school district reported the incident to the commissioner February 25, 2019.

Yetman agreed his actions constituted professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming, the decision said.

In issuing the reprimand, the commission said Yetman’s behaviour raised concerns that his students might not be treated in a respectful fashion.

His views were expressed in discourteous and disrespectful language, the commission said.

Yetman acknowledged the posts “were not appropriate and could undermine his efforts to provide an inclusive learning environment for his students,” the decision said.

Open Mosque Day events have been billed by organizers as a way to build bridges between Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Events include mosque tours, snacks, displays of various themes surrounding Islam and Muslims, henna tattooing and Hijab tryouts.

“In a world with ever-growing stigma and confusion around Islam and Muslims, we want to open our doors, our minds and our hearts to everyone around us, and build a stronger community,” Lower Mainland organizer Asma Mazhar said of the 2019 events.

jhainsworth@glaciermedia.ca

@jhainswo

 

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