Dodgy teacher didn’t quite get fully registered. This could be a good sign

Steven David Elms started teaching at Te Kuiti Primary School in 2014 but by the end of the first term it was perceived he was overfamiliar with the children, the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal says in a recent decision.

Elms was accused of tickling, hugging and playing bullrush with the students.

He was also accused of playing a game called “toilet”, which involved sitting children on his lap, and being overly familiar by massaging the shoulders of a female colleague without checking if it was OK first.

Staff noted his pants would sag, exposing his backside and was repeatedly told to pull his pants up.

Police investigated an incident, but didn’t lay charges, where it was alleged he picked up a student and touched their genitals.

The report says Elms did not like being directed or corrected and had suggested he was more experienced than other staff.

Elms denied accusations of kissing a child on the forehead and touching any genital areas.

He described his play as “rough-housing” and said that he would hug students who were upset or needed cheering up.

One person’s fun or enjoyment could be perceived differently by others, he said.

However, he agreed the acts were likely to discredit the profession, he was guilty of serious misconduct and deregistration was appropriate.

Let’s look at the positives here.

No name suppression.  Time from concern to action has been amazingly short when compared to the usual cases.  Action has been appropriate.

The question:  is this occasion due to the overt nature of this man’s actions?  Or is it due to the processes truly picking up this kind of problem much earlier?

The other question:  why was this man not weeded out during training?  He will have been on several months of placements.  This is a serious question for the profession to consider: should the education of teachers have some kind of filter to ensure these inappropriate people don’t waste 3 or 4 years of their lives educating themselves for a profession they are clearly  not suitable for?


– NZN via Yahoo! News

  • jimknowsall

    OK, but what have we got here? Some allegations of some dodgy stuff for which charges were not laid, but mainly some pretty flimsy accusations against someone who, in the main, has the temerity to act like a normal human and play with children. Perhaps he does have a problem, but I’d be pretty miffed if I were accused of paedophilia based on showing a bit of a builder’s crack on occasion, playing bulrush and hugging a kid who was upset.

    • Chris Bell

      Yeah, bit if this game of ‘toilet’ is true then I would say he definitely has a problem and he is clearly sick…proof of that alone (if there is proof) is definitely predatory

      • jimknowsall

        You’re probably right, but without any context or hearing his side, we ought to be careful about jumping to conclusions. For all we know it was the kids who started and named the toilet game, which fits with the scatological sense of humour that primary school children have.

        I would also note how lots of children’s games sound quite sinister if you write them down like a crime report. For example, I used to play kiss chase, which a humourless SJW or overly keen social worker might describe as gangs of boys chasing down underage girls and sexually assaulting them. Of course, in reality, it’s little more than tag, but you see how it sounds so much worse when described out of context.

        • Chris Bell

          Fair call – let truth reveal and if needed justice prevail

  • RockinBob625

    There is a reason it’s called Builders Crack, and not Primary Teachers Crack, or Doctor’s Crack. He did not meet the professional standards of a teacher, so was deregistered.
    And let’s be honest, if you can try to hire a hitman to take out your principal and still be registered then those standards are not that high.

    • Joe Doe

      So… accidently letting your crack show, something which we all have, and all most likely show at times, is grounds for dismissal and being accused of being a pedophile? I’ve seen plenty of teachers in low cut tops who’s boobs are regularly on display (see primary teachers often find themselves sitting on the floor…) – where is the outrage?

  • Joe Doe

    And if this wasn’t a male teacher would there be a problem? Most of what he is “accused” of seems like things that female teachers can be seen doing everyday (hugging, kids on knee, picking kids up) and this doesn’t seem to be a problem for anyone.

    If a previous article (which made no mention of the “toilet” game) he was accused of “sitting so close to students they made contact.” What?! As a primary teacher I can tell you most kids want to be close, and keeping kids out of your personal space, having them not touch you (in rather personal areas at times), and refusing hugs (behind surprise ones are really fun…see the previous point) is near impossible. And really, do you want your kids teacher refusing to hug/touch them? Because that’s exactly what some will be reconsidering about now…

    Of course a male wanting to teach kids is just weird and strange, right? Must be SOMETHING wrong with them…