A former Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District teacher has had his teaching certificate cancelled and has agreed not to reapply for five years, after admitting to professional misconduct with a former student.
A decision released Tuesday by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation said a district investigation of Curtis Alexandro Vizza, a secondary school teacher, was begun in June 2021 regarding inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature with a former student.
The district made a report to the commissioner on July 28, 2021.
There had been a “noted pattern” of female students hanging around in Vizza’s classroom, the decision said, with some confiding in him about their personal issues, like health, sex, pregnancy scares and drugs.
Some students would come to Vizza in tears and came to regard him as a friend, it said.
One particular student, who graduated in 2019 and had been in Vizza’s P.E. class in 2018, thought of him as a stable person she could talk to, the decision said.
The decision said the former student and Vizza connected over Snapchat in December 2020 “and began exchanging messages which grew increasingly sexualized and which included Vizza sending explicit photos of himself.”
Further messages included “a photograph of his backside and shirtless torso,” it said.
The district sent Vizza a letter on June 1, 2021 advising him of its investigation, and he responded by writing the former student a letter of apology the following day, the decision said.
Vizza’s employment with the district was terminated on Nov. 19, 2021, and the commissioner ordered an investigation under the Teachers Act on Dec. 1, 2021.
Vizza has admitted to the facts set out in the decision and to actions “that constitutes professional misconduct.”
The decision also said that his conduct showed “a lack of understanding of appropriate professional boundaries.”