A former Delta School District elementary school teacher is suspended for one day after she showed her Grade 2 class a series of inappropriate movies and described to them how she used to bully kids when she was in school.
Cindy Chi-Ching Tong agreed to the suspension and remedial education in a consent agreement with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, published Tuesday (Dec. 6).
In it, Tong admits that she showed movies at least once a week both during class time and lunch break between October 2020 and February 2021. Most of them, including The House With a Clock in its Walls, Iron Man 3, The Avengers and Dr. Strange are rated PG13, but the first movie in the Halloween franchise, which Tong also showed, is rated R. Some students reported feeling frightened by it.
At one point, according to the consent agreement, Tong’s learning support teacher told her she could only show G-rated films, but Tong continued to show ones rated PG13 and up. During report card season, she put on movies for students for two days in a row so she could finish her work.
Tong treated her students inappropriately in other ways too. The consent agreement says she told her students about how she used to bully kids when she was in elementary school, including by forcing someone to eat an orange rind and smearing dog feces on someone’s locker.
“She also told students that she had punched someone in high school and had run away from home.”
Tong made her students play a game they called Mafia where some players – the mafia – tried to eliminate people at night, while other players – the police and doctors – tried to stop them.
“Tong told students she had bad dreams at night which sometimes came true, and that she wore a necklace to stop the dreams from occurring.”
She also assigned homework over Google Classroom in a manner that made it publicly clear to everyone which students were doing well and which weren’t. Students further reported that Tong had favourites and treated certain kids better than others.
When Christmas came around, Tong had students copy the Bible story of the announcement of Jesus’ birth into their notebooks.
The consent agreement further states that Tong often didn’t have lesson plans, would make kids figure things out on their own before offering help, and would grow visibly frustrated when they didn’t understand.
On March 3, 2021, Tong resigned from the Delta School District effective April 30. Her teaching certificate of qualification remains in tact, however. It’s this which the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation ordered to be suspended for one day as a result of Tong’s actions.
She has also agreed to complete a course on creating inclusive learning environments by the end of June 2023.