Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired after purchasing graphic novels containing sex acts

A teacher-librarian at a s­econdary school in the ­Nanaimo-Ladysmith School ­District was fired after ­purchasing two graphic novels for the library collection that contained nudity, sexual acts and drug use.

Matthew Norman Lettington was fired in December 2019, according to a consent resolution agreement published Tuesday.

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As a teacher-librarian, Lettington was responsible for selecting and purchasing books for the school library.

In September 2016, he ordered a graphic novel called My New York Diary, which includes nudity, sexual acts, drug use and mature language, the agreement says.

In January 2018, a parent complained to the school after their child checked the book out of the secondary school library.

After a meeting with the principal, Lettington agreed the book may not have been suitable for the library and it was removed from the collection.

Lettington had also purchased a second graphic novel depicting nudity, sexual acts and drug use, called La Lesbienne Invisible, in November 2017, but when it arrived, he set it aside in a pile of books to review at a later time.

He began reviewing the book in May 2019, but when he was off work sick one day in May 2019, a colleague inadvertently placed the graphic novel on a library shelf, the agreement says.

Later that month, Lettington checked the book out to a Grade 8 student, whose parent complained to the school.

His termination on Dec. 20, 2019, followed two previous suspensions for inappropriate interactions with students.

In 2009, he was suspended for 20 days and required to complete a course on relationship and boundary issues, the recent agreement says.

He was suspended for five days in 2016 and told to only communicate with students online through his work email and to avoid behaviour that could be seen as “grooming” and taking photos of students.

Lettington could not be reached for comment. The school district declined to comment, citing privacy ­legislation.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

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