By Kathleen Gilbert

QUESNEL, BC, February 4, 2009 ( – The British Columbia College of Teachers (BCCT) has dropped 12 charges against BC’s Dr. Chris Kempling accusing him of “conduct unbecoming a member” of the College because he opposed the campaign to normalize homosexuality in public schools.

Kempling, a Christian, quit his position in the public school system earlier this year, but this hadn’t prevented the (BCCT) from continuing to seek legal action against him until now.  The decision to drop charges ends a saga of harassment and censure Kempling said was “extremely distressing” for him and his family.

“I am relieved my ordeal is finally over,” said Kempling, adding that he “could not thank enough” those who supported his battle for the right to religion and free speech.

The soft-spoken teacher first came under fire when in 2001 the BCCT took issue with a series of letters Kempling wrote to local papers defending the Christian understanding of homosexuality and warning parents of curriculum that normalized homosexuality in public schools. 

Because the College deemed the content of the letters discriminatory against homosexuals, Kempling was cited for “professional misconduct” and suspended.  Two years later, when he appeared on a local radio station to discuss the issue, the school district ordered Kempling never again to publicly express his views on homosexuality.

Kempling appealed the censure, spending “well over” a hundred thousand dollars in legal fees as he went all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court, which refused to hear his case.

But the BCCT was not finished.  In January 2008, the college issued a new citation of conduct “unbecoming” of a teacher in a list of 12 charges Kempling called “the most Orwellian document I have ever read.”  Kempling was cited for publishing an essay on the differences between social liberals and social conservatives, discussing Christian therapy for homosexuality on the radio, and for being a local representative of the Christian Heritage Party.

“Frankly, I find it disconcerting that my professional body wishes to sanction me for my political involvement, for conduct in a completely different profession servicing my own faith community and for opinions published in other provinces or countries,” Kempling wrote the following April.  “This action has potentially alarming consequences, not only for Canadian teachers, but for all regulated professions … for whom such cases end up establishing legal precedents.”

Kempling was advised by his lawyer that, were he to remain a member of the college, he could expect at least “a very substantial suspension,” and was threatened with the revocation of his teaching license.  Kempling decided to quit the College, and now teaches at a Catholic private school in Kamloops, BC.

Now that the affair has ended, Kempling notes that all extra donations sent to the Christian Public School Teachers Legal Defense Fund on his behalf will be donated to another Christian teacher with a similar need, or a children’s charity in lieu of that.

“I thank God for his unfailing love and spiritual strengthening throughout this long ordeal,” said Kempling.  Quoting Psalm 3, he added, “Truly, he is faithful to his promises.”

See related coverage:

Chris Kempling to Quit BC Teachers’ College after Years of Harassment for Christian Belief

B.C. Teacher Kempling May Lose Teaching License for Defending Christian Beliefs

Conduct Unbecoming a Free Society


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