An elementary school teacher in northern B.C. has received a one-day suspension of her teaching certificate after taking several students for snack runs in her car, leaving some unbuckled as there weren't enough seatbelts in the vehicle.
Miron Piazza, a Grade 6 teacher in the Peace River North school district, took students off school property on several occasions and drove them around to pick up food from Subway and other local restaurants, according to a resolution agreement by Howard Kushner, B.C.'s commissioner for teacher regulation.
On two of the unsanctioned outings, Piazza piled five of her students into her car, which only seated four passengers, the agreement stated.
"As there were not enough seatbelts in the back seat for four students, Miron Piazza told them that they would have to duck if they saw a police officer," wrote Kushner in his findings.
When they returned to school, Piazza would also tell the students that the outing was a secret and they should not tell anyone.
The school was not named in the resolution agreement.
Piazza drove her students around on three separate occasions in June 2020, in breach of school policy.
Kushner wrote that she failed to tell school administrators that she was taking students off of school property, failed to obtain permission from administrators to drive students, and failed to inform parents and obtain their consent.
Piazza was also in breach of the Motor Vehicle Act by failing to ensure her passengers were wearing seatbelts.
Kusher also said Piazza failed to follow physical distancing rules when she allowed students to ride in her car.
After imposing its own three-day suspension without pay, the school district filed a complaint to the commissioner, who suggested Piazza face a one-day suspension of her teaching certificate.
"Miron Piazza failed to model appropriate behaviour expected of an educator," wrote Kushner.
Piazza voluntarily agreed to enter into the agreement and is expected to serve her suspension on Nov. 9.