B.C. gym teacher who exploited vulnerable student for ‘sexual advantage’ receives permanent ban

A former Vancouver Island teacher who took advantage of a vulnerable 15-year-old “for his own personal and sexual advantage” and began dating them right after their graduation has had his licence permanently revoked.

Ian Alexander Stephen McKenzie taught physical education and social studies at a high school in Sooke, about 40 kilometres west of Victoria, before a complaint was filed against him in August 2022, according to a public notice from the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.

He has admitted that his behaviour with a student he met when they were 15 and in his Grade 10 gym class amounts to professional misconduct, and has agreed to the cancellation of his teaching licence and a permanent ban on applying for its reinstatement, according to the notice.

“McKenzie had a position of power and trust” over the student, it reads. “McKenzie allowed the teacher-student relationship to become exploitative of the student for his own personal and sexual advantage.”

The notice was posted online Tuesday, and it outlines the terms of a Sept. 6 consent agreement between McKenzie and the teacher regulation branch. The name and gender of the former student have both been protected, and the notice does not say who filed the complaint.

McKenzie first taught the student in the 2007-08 school year, when he knew the teen was vulnerable and feeling unsupported, according to the notice.

It goes on to state that the student began confiding in McKenzie about their personal life, and in return he “breached appropriate professional boundaries through the student’s Grade 10 year.”

By the time the student was in Grade 12, the relationship had become “more personal and intimate,” according to the notice, and McKenzie was making sexual comments to the student, spending time with them at his home and “engaging in long hugs and similar touching.”

McKenzie has admitted he told the student their relationship had to be kept secret until they turned 18, when they could “officially date.”

Within months of the student’s graduation, the relationship became sexual, the notice states.

McKenzie agreed to the permanent cancellation of his licence last month. He has not taught since September 2022, when he signed an undertaking agreeing to stay out of the classroom, while the complaint against him was under investigation.

According to the teacher regulation branch, he had been a licensed teacher since 2006.

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