High school teacher admits to verbal and emotional abuse of student
Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Thursday, February 23, 2017 4:49PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 23, 2017 6:44PM EST
A Kitchener teacher was suspended from his job without pay for one month last summer after admitting to professional misconduct.
Matthew Kras was accused of verbally, emotionally and sexually abusing a student.
He pleaded guilty to professional misconduct over the emotional and verbal abuse, but did not admit to sexual abuse and is no longer facing that allegation.
In addition to the suspension, his penalty included a public reprimand from the Ontario College of Teachers and having to take a training course on appropriate boundaries.
Prior to the college’s hearing, Kras had been suspended from his job for three days by the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.
The accusations dated back to early 2014, and involved a student in Kras’ co-op class.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Kras and the student “began to engage in inappropriate texting and personal conversations” In April 2014, the student sent Kras a message saying “I think I want to hook up with you.” Kras did not respond to that message or report it to school administrators.
Eventually he ended up phoning the student, saying something along the lines of “I think you are a likable person, but I won’t be able to hook up with you.”
The next morning, he pulled the student out of the classroom to talk, telling her that “We all have wants, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.”
That night, the two again sent each other messages, with the student saying that Kras had said he wanted to hook up with her.
Kras said he wanted to “put that behind us.”
“Needs and wants are separate things,” he said.
“I was trying to say that we all have wants.”
Kras is considered to be in good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers. He currently works at Resurrection Catholic Secondary School in Kitchener.
Students there say they were surprised to learn of the misconduct.
“He was really nice, professionally. He was a little awkward,” said Cheyenne Masolais, a Grade 12 student who had Kras for biology.
In a statement to CTV News, the school board said that it considers the matter resolved and is not aware of any other issues regarding Kras.
Kras did not reply to multiple requests for comment before this story was published.
With reporting by Abigail Bimman