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Canada: Teacher pleads guilty to professional misconduct with student

John DeLamar September 29, 2014

A Toronto teacher pleaded guilty on Friday to professional misconduct after being accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Ian Handscomb, an openly-gay teacher at Claude Watson School for the Arts, claims the 14-year-old student was seeking advice on coming out. The two shared a private Facebook relationship to discuss issues the student was having with his sexual orientation.

Handscomb provided the student with the LGBT films Latter Days and Trick, which the Toronto College of Teachers — the entity responsible for hearing the case — deemed as distribution of pornographic material. Handscomb and the student also allegedly exchanged sexual messages with each other via social media.

Joe Jamieson, former director of investigations for the Toronto College of Teachers, said sexual orientation was not a factor.

He said: “If a kid came and said, ‘In my heterosexual relationship I have questions about x,’ and the teacher responded in the same way, we would have the equivalent case.”

Handscomb was put on a 20-day suspension in 2011 for not reporting a similar relationship with another student.

More: Americas, Canada, Claude Watson School for the Arts, Facebook, Ian Handscomb, Joe Jamieson, Latter Days, professional misconduct, Toronto College of Teachers, Trick

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