Two B.C. high school teachers banned for sexual relations with students

Mary Kay Letourneau, who made headlines in 1996 for having a relationship with one of her sixth-grade students, also died of cancer on Monday

Former elementary-school Mary Kay LeTourneau listens to testimony prior to being sentenced to seven years in prison for violating her parole.

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EDMONTON — Mary Kay Letourneau, one of the most infamous predatory school teachers, died of cancer on Monday. But lessons from Letourneau were apparently not received. In recent days, British Columbia authorities stripped teaching licences from two educators who had inappropriate sexual and personal relationships with current or former students.

Letourneau, dead at 58, made international headlines in 1996 when police caught her in a minivan with a sixth-grade student. She was later sentenced to seven years in prison for child rape, and became pregnant with the child of the boy — who was 12 years old at the time of the minivan incident. The two of them had two daughters.

Letourneau and the boy — who was an adult by the time she was released from prison — married in 2005; they split in 2017, then reconnected and finally split in 2019. Letourneau died of cancer in Seattle, Washington.

On the other side of the border, B.C. teaching authorities have, in recent weeks, handled the cases of two high school teachers who’ve had inappropriate sexual and personal relationships with students, saying there were “serious boundary violations” in the case of the first, a male teacher who’s been banned from teaching for 15 years.

The June 30 ruling says the unnamed male teacher had sexual relations with two of his students. “This misconduct occurred over an extended period of time and the teacher was aware that at least one of the students was in a vulnerable state,” the ruling by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation said.


The teacher, who was unnamed, had been teaching in B.C. since 1999 and had an “inappropriate personal and sexual relationship” with a former student. The student, who was 18 at the time, had graduated and is identified only as Student A. The teacher had taught the student for two years.

The other student, identified as Student B, was in Grade 12 and was 17 when the teacher had an “inappropriate personal relationship” with the student. Weeks after Student B graduated, the teacher “gave Student B alcohol and initiated a sexual relationship,” the ruling says.

Then, on Tuesday, another ruling banned a second B.C. high school teacher from instructing for 15 years. The teacher’s name and gender was not revealed, nor is the school identified. The teacher, the ruling said, started a sexual relationship with a student whom they had taught between Grades 10 and 12.

The student — who is also unnamed — graduated last June and the teacher and student struck up a sexual relationship in September. The ruling says the student  “spent a significant amount of time with the Teacher at the School and also spent time with the Teacher outside of School.”

The ruling also says the teacher had “boundary violations” with other students, who viewed the teacher as more of a friend than an authority.

The teacher was fired and their teacher’s certificate, first obtained in 2014, was cancelled. The teacher agreed to not re-apply for a new certificate for a period of 15 years.

With files from The Canadian Press and the Vancouver Sun

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