Students push for return of popular high school teacher
Students at L.V. Rogers High School in Nelson have launched an online petition to have a popular- if sometimes controversial- teacher returned to class.
The online petition calls on the school district to ‘Bring Mr. Belanger Back’.
Students expecting to see the mathematics teacher in his regular class this September were disappointed, says the student who started the online petition.
“I felt quite confused and annoyed about Mr. Belanger not being my teacher, instead the position was filled with a TTOC (teacher teaching on call) who was thrown into class with no preparation, having to drive from Kaslo everyday,” says Jamhal Truth.
“I knew other students felt the same, so I wanted to get an idea of how strongly everyone supported him coming back as soon as possible.”
The petition, which to date has been signed by more than 60 current and former students and their parents, is filled with comments praising Belanger and his teaching style.
“All he wants is for every student be nothing less than their best,” says one signatory.
“His way of teaching is so much easier to understand than any other math teacher in my opinion,” adds another.
“I know many people who are currently falling behind and struggling because Mr. Belanger isn’t there. Please bring him back!!!,” writes a third.
Trust says he is not surprised by the outpouring of support.
“I believe so many students, parents and L.V. Rogers alumni did sign this petition is because of how much of a positive effect Mr. Belanger has had on so many lives, not only teaching them math, but how to be a proper student,” he says.
“Some expressing they feel like they would have never passed math if it was not for Mr. Belanger… Students, including me, are feeling that they will not make it through their math class without him, others have even dropped to course entirely.”
While loved by many students, Belanger’s career has not been without controversy. In 2013 he was suspended for five days without pay and ordered to take a workshop in boundaries after playing a game guessing which students had smoked marijuana.
He was also reprimanded for other incidents detailed in the suspension order.
At the time many students stepped forward to defend Belanger and his teaching style.
Belanger is one of the high school’s most respected teachers, with a rating of 4.26 out of 5 on ‘ratemyteacher.com’. The average for teachers at the school is 3.85.
Belanger could not be reached for comment.
School District #8 Superintendent Jeff Jones declined to comment on the matter.
“It would be very inappropriate for me to speak on the nature of any of our employee’s absence,” he told thenelsondaily.com.