January 14, 2014 10:15 pm
Updated: January 14, 2014 10:26 pm

Watch: Chilliwack tech ed teacher quits his job over safety concerns in his classroom

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Overcrowded classrooms are forcing a Chilliwack shop teacher to quit his job.

After 32 years, Eric Munshaw is walking away from his passion, saying ballooning class sizes are a recipe for disaster in a shop class and he doesn’t want to see any of his student’s getting hurt.

He says it is a difficult decision because he really enjoys teaching.

For 16 years, he has taught middle school students how to saw and sand.

But the tech ed teacher feels the classroom environment is becoming too dangerous.

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He says in Chilliwack 26 tech ed classes in the district have over 24 students, some closer to 30.

Munshaw says these numbers are unmanageable.

“Someone is going to get hurt because the teacher is at the wrong place, at the wrong time,” he says.

According to the province, over the past three years an average of 255 students were injured each year in tech ed classes. The British Columbia Technology Education Association says that number excludes the near-miss incidents, which are not recorded.

The province allows high school classes of up to 30 students, but says it is up to each district and school principles to decide safe levels for each subjects.

Munshaw says he is quitting, but hopes his efforts will get the attention of people in charge.

“If this gets the attention of policy makers, superintendents and ministers of education, I will have felt I have made a terrific contribution,” he says.

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