Conviction strips teacher of licence

A teacher convicted of a sexual offence against a minor will not be in a classroom with students in B.C. anytime soon

A teacher convicted of a sexual offence against a minor will not be in a classroom with students in B.C. anytime soon.

Robert Robinson Sturney, who was teaching at a school in Hazelton when the offence happened between 2008 and 2009, signed a consent resolution agreement with the Teachers Regulation Branch (formerly the BC College of Teachers) commissioner Bruce Preston late in 2013.

He agreed to not apply for a certificate of qualification as a teacher or a letter of permission to teach for 12 years, the end date of which is October 30, 2025.

A consent resolution agreement is used when the commissioner determines that the facts require some action against the individual’s teaching certificate or certain conditions on his or her practice and is a voluntary process resulting in a written agreement on the facts and outcome as they relate to the certificate holder’s practice, explains information on the branch website.

Sturney’s professional teaching certificate issued to him Oct. 3, 1994, but valid from Sept. 1, 1994, was cancelled Nov. 1, 2010 due to non-payment of fees, according to the consent resolution agreement.

On Dec. 7, 2009, Coast Mountains School District 82 made a report to the college about Sturney, said the agreement.

A report is made   when it is believed there is an issue of competence or a breach of certification standards.

On Feb. 14, 2012, Sturney was convicted of sexual exploitation of a young person when he was in a position of trust or authority towards the young person between October 2008 and September 2009, continued the agreement.

Sturney was sentenced to 14 days of intermittent imprisonment and 18 months of probation, said the agreement.

A court ban was issued prohibiting the publication of any information which could identify the young person, continued the agreement.

On Aug. 15, 2013 the commissioner issued a citation, which is done when the commissioner is taking further action against the person, according to section 56 (1)(b) of the teachers act.

On Aug. 20, 2013, the commissioner proposed a consent resolution agreement to Sturney, as per section 53 (1)(a) of the teachers act.

In the consent agreement, Sturney admitted the facts stated about his professional certificate, its cancellation, his employment by the school district, the district’s report, his criminal conviction and the commissioner’s citation were true.

Sturney admitted that conduct described in his criminal charge was professional misconduct and contrary to the standards for educators in the province, continued the agreement. He agreed not to apply for certification and understood that the director of certification would be required not to issue to him a certification of qualification, an independent school teaching certificate or a letter of permission for 12 years, ending Oct. 30, 2025, said the agreement.