I know you?re sick of it? but these too were registered

A teacher who formed an inappropriate relationship with a 10-year-old student, and another who accessed porn at school and blamed it on his son, are facing serious misconduct charges.

The two separate cases were heard by the Teachers’ Disciplinary Tribunal in Wellington today.

In the first case, the complaints assessment committee alleged the female teacher, who has name suppression, formed an “inappropriate relationship” with one of her 10-year-old students.

The notice of charge said she engaged in Instagram messaging of a personal nature with the boy, took him home on two occasions, and brought him treats, including a onesie, a soft toy, food and money.

The teacher also “encouraged the student to form an emotional dependence which undermined his relationship with his mother”.

In the second case, the complaints assessment committee said the male Auckland teacher, who also has name suppression, used his school laptop to access pornographic images and failed to prevent students from seeing them.

In October 2015, he accessed pornographic websites a number of times, the notice of charge said.

“He failed to safeguard students from seeing the images, resulting in two Year 8 students who were using the laptop to download photographs into a yearbook on November 4, 2015, seeing images of naked women.”

It said the teacher failed to own up to the incident when questioned by the school, and tried to blame it on his son.

Compared to some years ago, the?Teachers’ Disciplinary Tribunal is doing a better job than the Teachers Council. ?The process is more in the open. ?Names are named more frequently, although not frequently enough.

The next focus should be on prevention and early detection. ?The profession’s intake process simply does not look for anything other than academic achievement. ? This has to change.

Secondly, the process of raising a complaint against a teacher is understandably difficult. ?First, you don’t want to make a false accusation. ?Then the school’s management needs to be convinced while trying to keep the whole thing quiet in case the complaint doesn’t pan out. ?Then we’re talking about protecting the school and other careers.

The complaints environment is essentially stacked against an open process. ?This is why we see that when scumbag teachers are finally outed, they have had a considerable history of causing harm. ?All to frequently, when it finally does spill into the public, we have ?people saying that raised concerns, three, five, ten years earlier.

It is great to see that the culture of letting these predators start another career at another school with a glowing reference is coming to an end. ?But so far we’re just improving the rate at which we punish. ?We have not done a thing to prevent these unsuitables from entering the profession in the first place.

The teacher registration process only indicates academic suitability. ?When will parents have the confidence to know that aspiring and beginning teachers are also assessed against non-academic criteria?

 

-?NZ Herald

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