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B.C. teacher banned for exploiting vulnerable student for 'sexual advantage'

A Sooke School District bus is shown picking up students in an undated photo. (CTV News) A Sooke School District bus is shown picking up students in an undated photo. (CTV News)
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A former Vancouver Island gym teacher has permanently lost his teaching certificate after he started an intimate relationship with a vulnerable 15-year-old student and began dating the student shortly after graduation.

Ian Alexander Stephen McKenzie taught physical education and social studies at a high school in the Sooke School District from 2007 until September 2022, when he was barred from ever again teaching in B.C.'s kindergarten to Grade 12 system, according to a consent resolution agreement with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.

As part of the agreement, published Tuesday, McKenzie admits his behaviour with the student amounted to professional misconduct and agreed to the cancellation of his teaching certificate and a permanent ban on applying for reinstatement.

The student, whose gender and identity are protected in the agreement, was in McKenzie's gym class in 2007-2008, when the student was 15 years old.

"McKenzie was aware that the student was vulnerable and felt unsupported," the notice from the commissioner says, detailing how the teacher and student developed an increasingly personal and intimate relationship over the next three years.

"This relationship included sending emails and texts to the student of a personal nature; making comments to the student of a sexual nature; spending time with the student, including after school and at McKenzie's home; and engaging in long hugs and similar touching," the notice says.

"McKenzie told the student that this relationship had to be kept secret and said that they could 'officially date' when the student was 18."

Shortly after graduation, McKenzie and the former student began dating and the relationship "became sexual within months," the notice says.

Within the agreement, signed by both parties earlier this month, the commissioner wrote that McKenzie abused his position of power and trust with the student and exploited their relationship for "his own personal and sexual advantage."

McKenzie first received a teaching certificate from the B.C. College of Teachers in May 2006.

The Sooke School District encompasses 28 schools, including four secondary schools, in the municipalities of Langford, Sooke, Colwood, Metchosin, Highlands and Port Renfrew.

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