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Teacher shoves student

A high school teacher who pleaded guilty to assault after shoving a student has been suspended for a second time.

Andrew Coates, a shop teacher at South Kamloops Secondary, received a two-week suspension from the Commissioner for Teacher Regulation involving the Nov. 1, 2012 incident.

Coates was later handed an absolute discharge in connection with the assault charge. The suspension of his teaching certificate went into effect on Monday and continues until April 22.

The incident began when Coates was trying to pull into the school parking lot as a group of male students deliberately walked in front of his car, forcing him to a sudden stop.

Coates attempted to speak to one of the students, who was in Grade 9 at the time, but he did not respond, the commissioner's report said.

"When the student came into the classroom, Coates confronted him about the incident. Coates was dissatisfied with the response and lost his temper.

"Coates shoved the student by placing both hands on the student's chest, causing the student to take one or two steps backwards."

In the presence of other students in his woodworking class, Coates said “words to the effect of, ‘That’s the most chickens--t thing I’ve ever seen someone do,’ and, ‘Do you want to try and intimidate me now?’”

He later apologized and asked the student if he was OK.

"The student had a sore neck after this incident."

In April 2013, Coates pleaded guilty in provincial court and was ordered to pay a $100 victim surcharge.

Judge Stephen Harrison said factors influencing his decision to render an absolute discharge included Coates' enrolment in an anger-management program, the fact that a suspension would cost him part of his salary and that the experience had caused him embarrassment.

After the court case, the school district suspended Coates without pay for one month.

Coates is required to provide proof to the commissioner by Aug. 30 that he has completed anger-management counselling with a psychologist approved by the commissioner.


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