A Vancouver high school band teacher has been disciplined for crossing professional boundaries, including an "inappropriately close relationship" with a female student.
David Joseph Lamb, who taught at David Thompson Secondary School, admitted to having long phone calls at night with two "vulnerable" students, according to a December disciplinary decision released by the B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch on its website this week.
On many occasions during the 2010/2011 school year, Lamb picked up a female student and drove her to classes in the morning. He also drove her to and from a tutoring job that he arranged for her, and stayed there until she was done.
The decision noted that the band teacher had long evening phone calls with her when she sometimes played her instrument and he would give advice.
In February 2011, two teachers looking for Lamb found him in his darkened office during class time alone with the student. The only light came from Lamb's laptop, and the student had her French coursework with her.
Lamb also called a male student at night in calls that lasted more than an hour to talk about music and other matters. He visited that student at his home twice and discussed "personal matters," said the discipline decision.
Both students, whose parents knew about the phone calls, had "personal circumstances that made them vulnerable."
Lamb also "failed to observe appropriate professional boundaries with students" in other ways during the 2010/2011 school year.
He failed to get the principal's approval to hold after-hours music practices, some of which lasted as late as 10 p.m. and only with two or three students. He also went out for "celebratory dinners" which were only attended by a few band members.
Lamb was issued a letter of discipline by the district, and later required to attend a boundaries workshop.
The school district had warned Lamb in 2009 about maintaining "clear boundaries" in all professional teacher-student relationships. It reported him to the B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch in June 2011.
According to the discipline decision, Lamb agreed to a reprimand. If he doesn't complete the boundaries course on time, his teaching certificate could be suspended.
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