Still registered

A male teacher resigned after sending inappropriate late-night Facebook messages to a 13-year-old female student, including telling her “you’ll be a catch when you are older”.

Teacher Jeremy Francis Brabant was on paternity leave when he exchanged messages with the teen, and later blamed “baby brain” for the lapse in judgement.

Mr Brabant was an IT specialist and conducted seminars on cyber safety at the school where he had been employed for 12 years before the incident in 2013.

The Teachers Council Disciplinary Tribunal has now censured him, but a backdated one-year suspension means his practicing certificate is again valid.

In a decision published today, the tribunal said in 2012 he had joined a Facebook group set up for the students, with the purpose of monitoring them online.

During that year, a 13-year-old in his class told him her mother was emotionally and verbally abusing her. He reported the conversation to his principal, and spoke to the student about arranging counselling.

The student subsequently contacted Mr Brabant on Facebook while he was on paternity leave, and the pair exchanged messages from 4pm until almost 11pm.

The messages included: “You’ll be a catch when you are older, you got the looks”; and “Not with your package. Even I’m jealous”.

The student reported the conversation, saying it had made her feel “yucky”.

Jeremy Francis Brabant is not suitable to be around teenagers, let alone be a teacher. ?There is a clear lack of judgement.

The fact his name is out there is great. ?At least the secrecy is no longer there, and he can be judged for suitability by any future employers and the community at large.

But the whole suggestion that teacher registration assures us of quality and a higher standard continues to be proven wrong.

 

– Heather McCracken, NZ Herald

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