Nanaimo school librarian fired over inappropriate books

High school librarian fired

A Vancouver Island secondary school librarian was fired for ordering two books for the school's library deemed inappropriate. But this wasn't the librarian's first time facing disciplinary action.

The recent consent resolution agreement from the BC Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, Howard Kushner, was posted online Tuesday.

The document shows that Matthew Lettington was fired from Nanaimo District Secondary School in December 2019.

Lettington was responsible for selecting and purchasing books for the school's library, and in January 2018, a student's parent complained to the school about the book My New York Diary that a child had checked out from the library.

“This graphic novel contains images of nudity, sexual acts, drug use and mature language,” the recent report states. While it had been on the shelves since 2016, Lettington agreed the book was not suitable for the school's students and he removed it.

The following year, another parent of a Grade 8 student complained about a graphic novel in the school's library titled La lesbienne invisible, which also contained nudity, sex acts and drug use. While the book had been placed on the shelves inadvertently by another staff member before Lettington had had a chance to review it, this was the school district's final straw, and Lettington was fired.

This wasn't the first issue the district had with Lettington though. He was first suspended for 20 days in 2009 for inappropriate interactions and communications with students. Then, in 2016 he was suspended for five days for making “inappropriate comments to students and engaging in non sexual boundary violations.”

The last suspension led to a small group of parents protesting outside of the school in 2017, calling for his termination.

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