A Newfoundland teacher who sprayed one of her students with air freshener has been suspended with pay from her job, according to a statement from the school board responsible for Twillingate Island Elementary School.

The Nova Central School District also said that a representative from the board met with the student's mother, Patti Rideout, on Monday and issued an apology to Rideout and her son.

Rideout said that her 10-year-old son was sprayed with Febreeze by his teacher in early February when he returned to class after eating a lunch of cooked capelin.

Rideout said her son's classmates starting teasing him about the fishy smell. The teacher sent her son out of class for one period and then sprayed the air freshener on him.

Rideout met with the school principal on Monday and asked for an apology. But she said she didn't get one.

Stu Auty, the president of the Canadian Safe Schools Network, believes the teacher didn't mean any harm and probably acted to protect the boy from being teased.

"It was just a matter of a slip-up in probably how they saw things happening," Auty remarked. "They thought they were improving matters."

Still, Auty pointed out, he can understand why Rideout and her son are upset.

"There's also a certain sensitivity that's expected from ... teachers regarding any kind of recognition that might be considered negative," noted Auty. "It sounds like perhaps that this is the case but I'm sure that the teacher didn't mean to hurt in any way that child."