Island teacher reprimanded for vaping talk with students

A Vancouver Island teacher has been formally reprimanded for discussing vaping with his students.

Terrence Andrew Makofka was reprimanded for engaging in “inappropriate conversations with students during class time” in two separate instances while working as a teacher on call at a high school in the Pacific Rim district, which includes Port Alberni and Ucluelet.

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According to a consent resolution agreement published by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation on Tuesday, a parent complained to the principal on Dec. 6, 2018, that Makofka discussed vaping with a class. Five days later, the principal spoke with him and told him to stop.

On March 26, 2019, a Grade 9 student approached Makofka and asked him about vaping and the amount of nicotine in his vape.

“In the context of advising the student how he had just quit vaping, Makofka answered the student’s question about tapering down nicotine levels and then told the student what his favourite vaping flavours were, and where these could be purchased,” said the agreement.

The agreement cited previous concerns with Makofka’s conduct, including failing to properly care for an injured student, which resulted in a four-day suspension in June 2016, and failing to inform the school about a fight between two students, which resulted in a 10-day suspension in December 2016.

Under the agreement, Makofka admits the vaping discussions with the class and the student constituted professional misconduct and agrees to the reprimand.

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