Surrey School District building (Photo: Surreyschools.ca)

Surrey teacher disciplined over incident with special needs student

Teacher was suspended without pay for one month in 2016

The Surrey School District suspended a teacher without pay for a month in 2016 over an incident involving a special needs student and has prohibited her from applying for a special needs assignment until October 2017.

Following her suspension, Petronella Agnes Dunderdale returned to work as a teacher on call. She was also required to complete four counselling sessions focussing on “anger management strategies” and participate in training sessions “designed to assist her with interactions with students,” according to a British Columbia Commissioner for Teacher Regulation document.

The Consent Resolution Summary states in April Dunderdale entered into a consent resolution agreement with the commissioner in which she agreed her actions constituted professional misconduct.

She completed a “Foundations of Collaborative Conflict Conflict Resolution” through the Justice Institute of B.C.

The Surrey teacher was head of a program at an undisclosed school where the girl, whose name, age and grade have also not been disclosed, was enrolled. Referred to only as Student A, the girl had a safety plan teachers and education assistants were required to follow. The plan noted the student would, on occasion, “show frustration and aggression toward peers and adults through hitting, pushing or swearing” and sometimes leave the school “when very frustrated.”

The BCCFTR document noted that under the plan, when Student A exhibited signs of anxiety, staff were to “provide supportive, non-judgmental responses” and “when she exhibited defensive behaviours (including saying ‘no’ and ‘leave me alone’) school staff were to allow her time “to process and honour her need for space.

“When she was acting out, staff members were to keep a safe distance and send for help from administration,” the document states. One day in March 2016 the teacher and two education assistants were in a room with Student A when she swore at Dunderdale, who directed one of the EAs to film their interaction with a cell phone, the document continues. “Dunderdale did not have Student A’s parents’ permission to film her in this manner.”

During this interaction, the summary states, Dunderdale spoke to Student A in an “inappropriate and confrontational manner” inconsistent with her safety plan, but it doesn’t reveal what was said.

Student A became more agitated and asked the teacher to stop filming, telling her, “Please don’t torture me. It’s very bad.”

The document states Dunderdale did not instruct the EA to stop filming, Student A then went outside the school where other staff calmed her down and brought her back in.

tom.zytaruk@ surreynowleader.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey monitoring traffic as vehicles again clog city streets

Compared with city’s 2019 weekly average, deepest volume reduction was in late March with up to 46 per cent less vehicles

Art’s Scarecrow Festival returns in September

Sixth annual event will be different than previous events because of the pandemic

Surrey’s top cop is keynote speaker at Surrey Board of Trade AGM

Asssistant Commissioner Brian Edwards will be on deck at Tuesday’s ‘virtual’ meeting

Refund emails from City of White Rock a ‘phishing’ scam

IT staff work to nullify security breach in ‘classic phishing campaign’

SPCA partners with Crime Stoppers

Many call in to the SPCA, but want to remain anonymous: Eccles

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read