A B.C. teacher has been permanently banned from the classroom after engaging in criminal misconduct involving the sexual exploitation of a vulnerable student.
A consent resolution agreement posted by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation on Tuesday, Sept. 8 states the teacher exhibited a “pattern of boundary violations in addition to the most serious violation which led to the criminal conviction.”
On May 2, 2018, the school district reported that a teacher had begun a sexual relationship with a student at the school. The teacher was subsequently charged with sexual exploitation of a young person by a person in a position of trust or authority and resigned the following month. The commissioner initiated an investigation on July 6, 2018, after learning the teacher had been charged with breaching his bail conditions.
In February 2019, the teacher pleaded guilty to several charges and he was sentenced in February 2020. Following his sentencing, the teacher entered a consent resolution agreement, agreeing his actions constituted professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming.
The commissioner determined a lifetime ban on reapplication for his teaching licence was an appropriate consequence.
While the resolution does not name the teacher involved outright, the dates and information point to former West Kelowna teacher Bradley Furman.
Furman, 30, was sentenced to just over three years in prison in February for sexually exploiting a student at Mount Boucherie Secondary School.
During the sentencing hearing, Judge Clark Burnett said Furman’s actions had a “profound detrimental effect” on the victim and her family and “tarnished the [teaching] profession.”
The relationship between Furman and his student began during the 2017-2018 school year when he was 28 years old.
The two began speaking on social media during spring break. Topics of discussion included video games of mutual interest as well as Furman’s marital issues, to which the girl provided advice, but eventually progressed to more sexual discussions and an eventual a physical relationship.
The relationship’s secrecy unravelled as Furman called the girl out of two classes on May 1, 2018. This prompted suspicion from Furman’s co-workers, who brought the matter to school administrators.
Upon watching security footage of the two walking “too close,” the school’s principal and vice-principal had conversations with Furman and the girl separately.
The girl told the principal of the messages and the eventual progression into a sexual relationship.
Furman was asked by school administrators to show the messages, but he refused. According to the Crown, the school’s principal told Furman he would be fired if he destroyed the communications.
Following the conversations with the administration, Furman did just that, asking the girl to delete all correspondence and the associated accounts.
Investigators subsequently obtained 2,700 pages of messages, some of which point to the relationship continuing for another 13 months after the initial arrest in May 2018.
Furman was arrested four times for breaching conditions of his bail, specifically for making contact with the girl and members of her family.
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