A B.C. teacher has been suspended and ordered to take a professional boundaries course after seeking a relationship with a student who indicated no interest.
Chelsea Dawn Cromarty was employed in the Fraser-Cascade school district in the eastern Fraser Valley when a Grade 12 student was enrolled in one of her classes in the 2017-2018 year.
B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation Howard Kushner said that, in May 2018, Cromarty began sending the student messages about her personal life. She was aware the student was having personal struggles, Kushner said in the Oct. 29 decision posted online Nov. 12.
She then invited the student, whose gender is not specified in the decision, into a separate room during class to discuss their personal lives. Cromarty disclosed details of her marriage.
On the day students picked up report cards, Cromarty invited the student to “hang” with her later in the day. The student initially accepted and then declined.
Later that day, she picked the student up from their home and took them for a ride, discussing her desire to be friends after graduation.
Later that evening, Cromarty exchanged message with the student while aware they had an exam the next day.
The next morning, she sent a note saying, “Get your ass in gear. You need to be here before 9.”
“The student felt uncomfortable about Cromarty’s attention and stopped responding to messages from Cromarty,” the decision said.
In late June or early July, Cromarty called the student to discuss being friends. The student said they did not want that.
Cromarty then sent the student a three-page letter about challenges in her life.
Shortly after, Cromarty messaged the student saying she was “incredibly drunk” and “sad about the way things ended.” The message was accompanied by a picture of Cromarty with her tongue sticking out and mouse ears, whiskers and a heart on her nose.
She asked if the student was going to leave her hanging without a response. And, she asked if they had received her letter, adding she was going to delete or block the student but then continued to look at the student’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile she invited the student to call when they were “ready to talk,” and gave her phone number.
Around November, Cromarty sent a message saying, “I just wanted to check if things had changed” and “I get the sense there is no way for me to rectify my past actions.”
The school district reprimanded Cromarty Dec. 6, 2018, requiring her to take a BC Teachers’ Federation boundaries course.
Cromarty’s suspension was from Sept. 3, 2019, to Nov. 1, 2019