Delta teacher fired for lying about past suspensions

The regulation says in 2011 Bjarnason was suspended from the Langley school district for putting a student in a headlock, and inappropriately reprimanding another student with disabilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A Delta teacher has been fired and is facing a suspension of his teaching certificate for lying about his past when applying to multiple Metro Vancouver school districts.

James Earl Bjarnason was hired by the Delta school district in 2017.

When applying, he was asked on a questionnaire if he had ever been investigated, dismissed, suspended, or disqualified from previous teaching jobs.

According to the BC Teacher Regulation Branch (TRB), Bjarnason answered “no.”

READ MORE: B.C. teacher suspended after pulling ponytails, swearing in classroom

But Bjarnson had been suspended before, when he was working for the Langley School District in 2011.

A consent resolution agreement says Bjarnason became frustrated with a student and put them in a headlock, rubbing his knuckles against their head.

Story continues below advertisement

The Langley School District issued Bjarnason a letter of discipline, and suspended him for two months without pay.

Later that year, he was investigated for a second time.

In that case, the TRB says Bjarnason inappropriately reprimanded a vulnerable student with multiple disabilities.

READ MORE: B.C. teacher suspended after showing students inappropriate videos

Langley issued a second disciplinary letter to Bjarnason, with a recommendation that he be suspended without pay for six months.

Bjarnason then resigned from Langley’s school district.

He then applied for jobs with school districts in Surrey, Maple Ridge, and Delta, eventually being hired by Delta.

According to the consent resolution agreement, he claimed on their questionnaires he had never been suspended.

The Delta School District looked into Bjarnason’s answer to the question, and when confronted, Bjarnason said repeatedly he had never been suspended.

In Nov. 2018 he was fired for cause, and his teaching certificate will be suspended for two months between May and April 2020.

Sponsored content