Sean McLaughlin, Vancouver Teacher, Fired Over Messages

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Sean McLaughlin, a teacher at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, has lost his certificate after inappropriate conduct with former students.
Sean McLaughlin, a teacher at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, has lost his certificate after inappropriate conduct with former students.

A Vancouver teacher has been stripped of his teaching certificate after a pattern of inappropriate conduct with former female students.

Sean McLaughlin, a former teacher at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, sent a series of messages and allegedly engaged in physical contact, which the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation deemed serious enough to cancel his professional credentials, said a Consent Resolution Agreement signed on Oct. 28.

McLaughlin sent a total of 45 emails, wrote inappropriate yearbook messages and made a late-night phone call to a young woman, called Student A in the documents, whom he taught from 2001 to 2005. The emails and phone calls started shortly after she graduated.

He wrote another eight emails and allegedly engaged in physical contact with a woman identified as Student B, whom he taught in the 2006/07 school year.

One of the yearbook messages to Student A, from the 2004/05 school year, reads: "If, many years from now, you suddenly remember your old teacher it is because I am sitting beside a little stream under a giant tree dreaming of you. Bless your heart dear (Student A). My heart weeps that our time together will not be so frequent. Love and Best Wishes :)"

The physical contact with Student B allegedly occurred in the 2006/07 school year. At one point, she said that she was alone in a classroom looking at posters when she turned to find McLaughlin inches away from her.

At another point, she went to the teacher for advice. McLaughlin allegedly closed the door to protect their privacy. Student B remembered crying during their conversation and that the teacher put his hands in her lap and hugged her, a move that made her uncomfortable.

McLaughlin did not recall those incidents and does not remember being alone in a classroom with Student B.

In a Jan. 1, 2007 email to Student A, McLaughlin wrote: "I woke up this morning thinking about you. Does that make you want to spank me for being a bad boy or are you happy?"

In the summer of 2007, McLaughlin called Student A after midnight, saying, "I miss you so much" in a deep and passionate voice, according to the agreement. The student tried to treat it as a joke and changed the subject.

McLaughlin explained that he was in a state of severe depression when he made the phone call after he had been diagnosed with a permanent chronic pain condition.

On June 24, 2009 he sent two e-mails to each of the students.

He told Student A: "I ache for your slender and delicious body and dream about you seeing me again. Love Sean."

He told Student B: "You have always know that I am aching for your body. I hope you will visit me soon."

McLaughlin said he was drunk when the e-mails were sent, but he also does not remember sending them. He said he knows that they were inappropriate.

As part of the resolution agreement, McLaughlin acknowledged that the incidents constituted unprofessional conduct and he agreed to a cancellation of his teaching certificate. He has also agreed that he will not apply for another one.

Consent Resolution Agreement for case involving high school teacher Sean McLaughlin.

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