The latest incidents come after concern about a group of senior schoolboys who plied girls with alcohol before photographing them with genitalia dangling over their faces, as part of a competition hosted on a Facebook page.
But despite a police investigation, the teens escaped with a warning – to the dismay of principals and sex attack support workers. The case was revealed by the Herald on Sunday two weeks ago.
Police Minster Michael Woodhouse told Parliament the decision not to lay formal charges was made after seeking legal advice. A young woman involved in the incident was satisfied with the outcome, he said.
Walsh and police are now refusing to comment further on the case.
Walsh said the recent meeting to discuss the case had resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding to provide clear guidelines for principals and police when managing offensive online behaviour by pupils. Read more »
Jo Moir reports on the demise of the Teachers Council, and why it has been ineffective.
Teachers have accepted gifts of underwear, and invitations to students’ birthday parties – and later claimed to be unaware such actions were inappropriate.
Now some in the profession are calling for the education minister to step in and provide better training on professional boundaries, after a rise in the number and seriousness of offences committed against students.
Patrick Walsh, a long-standing member of the Teachers Council’s disciplinary tribunal, said it was clear after six years on the tribunal and speaking with principals and teachers nationwide, that the quality of training around professional boundaries and student safety was at times non-existent.
Training? Is that the problem?
Don’t be stupid. If a 14 year old gives you underwear, and you don’t immediately see that as an issue, no amount of training is going to help. Read more »
I predict that there will be a caucus backlash over this policy announced late on Thursday by Hekia Parata. There is already a backlash from School Principals, which normally I would have a crack at but in this case the Principal’s are dead right and Hekia Parata and her Education ministry officials are dead wrong.
I never thought I would see the day when I would be a member of a party that wouldn’t put drug dogs into schools. Since when has the National party been “soft on drugs“?
A law change to ban schools from drug testing students will “seriously dent” the ability of teachers to stop drugs entering the school gates, the principals’ union says.
The Education Amendment Bill, which was introduced to Parliament last week, would ban schools from using drug sniffer dogs or requiring students to undergo a drug test.
Secondary Principals’ Association president Patrick Walsh said parents would be outraged by the change.
“Prohibiting the use of drug dogs in schools, and stopping schools from drug testing students who have been caught using drugs in schools to ensure they’re clean, will seriously dent our capacity to stop the scourge of drugs in our community from entering our school gates,” he told Radio New Zealand this morning.
“I think the public and parents would be outraged at this because the overarching principle is we want our schools to be drug-free.”
Mr Walsh said the law change would give schools “very little” power to detect drugs.
The headlines should be screaming that ‘Nats send drug dogs into schools’.
As I said the feedback I am receiving suggests that the next caucus meeting is going to be very, very testy. Expect Hekia Parata to do a flip-flop on this. This sort of liberal panty-waist soft cock attitude has no place in policy from the National Party.
The Teacher Union oppose Charter Schools because they will be able to use unregistered teachers. They tell us it is for the safety of the children that they want mandatory registration. Like these teachers, who presumably were all registered and therefore safe to teach the kids.
One Waikato teacher is under investigation by the New Zealand Teachers Council for sexual misconduct while almost 50 others have been convicted of various charges over the past two years.
Figures released under the Official Information Act show, of the 48 convictions for the region’s teachers since 2010, 30 were for alcohol and drugs, five for violence and one each for sexual and pornography offences.
As of July this year, there had already been 17 convictions handed down to Waikato teachers.
There were also 38 cases of teacher misconduct investigated, including five for sexual misconduct, four for violence and dishonesty and 22 for what was defined as “other”.
However, only four of these teachers had their registration cancelled, eight faced censure and, in 33 cases, no further action was taken.
Education lawyer and Secondary Principals’ Association president Patrick Walsh said the convictions were “extremely serious and very disappointing” and called for more rigorous vetting of school staff to reduce the number of teachers who “fall through the cracks”.
“I think any time a teacher is involved in a criminal offence is a serious matter because they’re in a position of high trust with children and they are supposed to be role models for young people.”
Once again Patrick Walsh shows how out of touch he and his union are.
Patrick Walsh’s objectivity shown by the last comment – at last – after all these years – the sky may fall also.
Apparently, a highly qualified teaching profession will not surive the advent of some schools aimed at helping disadvantaged groups?
Secondary Principals’ Association president Patrick Walsh says the Government has been saying it’s not the size of the class that matters, it’s the quality of the teacher.
“We are now told that it’s okay to have teachers in front of New Zealand school children without qualifications or registration.”
Mr Walsh hopes parents and the public will see how dangerous the policy is.
“They will contact the MPs and they will let the Government know that this is not something that parents in the public of New Zealand want.”
He says charter schools will dismantle the teaching profession and will have an adverse effect on students.
They seriously underestimate the ability of NZ parents to think for themselves and the desire that many families have to see different provisions for their children and much better outcomes.
Labour and the Teacher Unions clearly do not want to help dis-advantaged kids.
Still if the teaching profession is dismantled it can’t be a bad thing.
The teaching profession is full of stupid people. From the administrators to the teachers themselves. Every few years we get sob stories about how there aren’t any jobs in teaching despite them being trained for the job…then a few years later we get more sob stories about how there aren’t enough teachers to go around and more need to be recruited.
The Education profession are easily the most dimwitted when it comes to forward planning for requirements and somewhat uniquely they also have the easiest set of metrics to plan for the future. You see Statistics NZ helpfully gives statistics for birth rates, infant mortality and the like…so it bemuses me that they can’t work out precisely how many ids are going to turn up in 5 years time. It also bemuses me that idiots go and train for subjects for which there is an over abundance of other idiots training….if true market forces applied to teaching then PE teachers would be a dime a dozen and top notch science and english teachers would be well rewarded.
But instead we have a one size fits all salary package for teachers.
Universities are churning out hundreds of secondary teachers who remain jobless after training in the wrong subjects.
Figures show far more physical education teachers graduated than English teachers, with chemistry and maths numbers even further back.
“I don’t know why they train so many people if there’s no jobs,” Canterbury University PE graduate Carolyn Merrifield, who’s jobless a year after graduating, said. “All that happens is that people end up going overseas.”
Subject data provided by universities shows up to 150 teachers graduated able to teach PE last year, while only around 30 qualified in chemistry and physics.
Secondary Principals Association president Patrick Walsh said the figures reflected the teaching subject shortage in schools.
“Principals have reported a shortage in physics, chemistry, Maori and maths. It’s been going on for years but it’s getting worse. Our feedback is being ignored.”
He said there should be better incentives to study in-demand subjects.
Waikato University sport and leisure department head Dawn Penney said the over-supply of PE teachers was acknowledged. The department produced 55 PE teachers last year, and while the course was competitive and capped, many would have to take jobs overseas.
A reader emails:
Like you I fully support the idea of teacher performance measurement and bonus pay for those teachers making a real difference for our kids.
An article in the Dom Post this morning should be the rallying call for all those parents and supporters alike to bash down the objections of the various unions and other left wing lunatics.
I find it interesting that for a group (along with a number of BOT’s) reputedly so opposed to National standards they will still recommend/accept concurrence for their work “above an beyond” normal duties. Especially in light of one possible criteria outlined in the article “It is also available as an incentive for good performance”. Isn’t this precisely what the lunatics all bemoan? Seems there is a third way – object vociferously to performance management being introduced but turn a blind eye (and stay very quiet) about the current practice. I wonder just how many schools have applied for concurrence in the past year? My bet is a large number (under cover of darkness).
Patrick Walsh and the rest of his brethren should be called on this and all their objections to anything related to performance pay, ranking of students and teachers and incentives should be smacked down.
I notice that Mr Ian Leckie in the article has a crisis of conscious. He starts out defending the practice (differentiating the payments from actual performance) and then realises his contradiction and that he has divulged something secret and then climbs back on wanderly wagon to say “it’s not ok”.
What a tosser Mr Leckie and his union mates are!
I’m over the teachers unions, The Teachers Council and teachers in general. They are against National Standards for no other reason that it is the national party proposing it, they want huge pay increases because they were silent for Labour for nine years, and they through the Teachers Council and the registration board keep allowing dodgy teachers to hide their names and continue teaching.
On the front page of the Sunday Star Time today it is there in all its glory, the protection of criminal teachers by the Teachers Council.
THIS IS the story the Teachers Council did not want told. The search for the information on criminals teaching our children ultimately needed the intervention of the ombudsman. Journalist Catherine Woulfe – now based at Sunday magazine – sought the facts but the council declined, on the ground it was not in the public interest. Official Information Act requests were made asking for a range of information on teachers self-reporting a conviction since January 2008. The council again refused, primarily on the grounds it “would require substantial collation and research”. It also said it wanted $3277.12 to cover costs. The Sunday Star-Times went to the ombudsman, who reduced the charge to $760, which we paid. After a year of persistence, the council has finally provided the information.
And while they were obstructing the Sunday Star Times and trying to protect dodgy teachers they were issuing press releases and letters explaining just exactly how they want teachers to vote in a “survey” of the members.
Now don’t get me wrong here, not all crimes are equal and people can certainly make mistakes in their life that shouldn’t necessarily impact their career, but life is tough and sometimes you just have to cop it on the chin. Not if you are a teacher though. You get a free ride, especially if your crimes are against children.
In the past two years, 58 teachers have dobbed themselves in for being convicted of offences punishable by more than three months jail.
That is the threshhold [sic] which requires them to be investigated by the New Zealand Teachers Council.
Despite the admissions, those who retained or were granted teachers registration included ones convicted of:
* Indecent assault against a teenage girl.
* Assault with a blunt instrument and male assaults female.
* Possession of an objectionable publication but is awaiting sentence.
* Threatening to kill, and assault on a woman.
* Grievous bodily harm with reckless disregard.
And a district court judge has also ordered the teachers council to reconsider a primary teacher it banned after she verbally threatened children in class.
I can handle drink driving offences, and fraud, anyone can make mistakes like that once and get over it and still not affect their ability to teach, but I’m afraid that possession of objectionable material, indecent assault, assault, threatening to kill and GBH do not a teacher make.
I remembered a quote in the NZ Herald by Trevor Mallard about this issue regarding the Teachers Council.
Labour education spokesman Trevor Mallard said the council should be moving towards more openness with the public and parents.
“In the end the presumption should be towards openness, and naming is part of the punishment. If you do something that is that serious that you are suspended or struck off, then that should be a matter that is public.”
Education law expert Patrick Walsh said parents had “a right to know”.
And those comments were about the news that:
Five teachers disciplined for offences ranging from sex with students to watching porn in a classroom have had their identities protected as calls to “name and shame” grow.
The details of the ruling against the teachers were published by the Teachers’ Council this week. Two teachers disciplined for misconduct could be back teaching next year. The cases include:
A married male teacher struck off for having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student for 18 months.
A male teacher struck off after being caught cruising a public toilet for sex;
A female teacher struck off after being caught claiming the DPB while working;
A female teacher suspended for a year for showing porn to a colleague in a class of 5-year-olds;
A female teacher warned for slapping and hitting 7-year-old students.
The rulings prompted fresh calls for an end to the secret nature of the Teachers’ Council.
I thought it would be timely to see what Mr Mallard had to say this time around and so I popped off an email and received a reply within about 15 minutes. His reply to my questions (and yes I checked if they could be on the record) leaves no room for doubt where he, a former teacher and Labour’s spokesperson on Education, stands on this issue of criminally convicted teachers remaining anonymously in the classroom.
I think that in some cases there is room for suppression. But I think there is a systemic breakdown between Police, the Teachers Council and Trustees/Principals.
I think there should be a system whereby each is obliged to inform the other and the Council keeps what might be described as an interim or grey list. That would mean problems couldn’t shift from school to school.
I wouldn’t rule out a teacher with a criminal conviction teaching but can’t think of a good reason for hiding it from parents.
One way of course of meeting that goal is to remove the automatic secrecy that applies in almost every case The Teachers Council deals with and remove also name suppression from our courts system in the case of the accused. Then there can be no doubt whatsoever as to who is teaching our children. By keeping secrets, name suppression and the Teachers Council create and perpetrate that there is something which must be hidden, so the presumption by parents, rightly, is that the crime must be bad. However the truth is that they aren’t. To my mind it matters not a bit that a teacher got caught with his hand in the till at the rugby club when he was secretary, or Mrs Art Teacher got pinged once for drink driving. It doesn’t affect their role as a teacher. But sex crimes and assault against children. No mercy, name and shame.
It is time we removed the keeping of secrets from our courts and from our classrooms. The sooner people accept that one of the consequences of breaking the law is getting named the sooner they will realise that they made a mistake.
Remember next time you hear teachers unions, The Teachers Council, The Principal’s Federation and the Auckland Primary Principals Association banging on against National Standards that they support the hiding of teachers details who are convicted of sex and violence crimes against children and that they want those same teachers to be teaching YOUR children.
I’ll start listening to all of them about national standards when they stop hiding criminals.
The PPTA, NZEI, The Teachers Council, The Principal’s Federation and the Auckland Primary Principals Association have all earned the Pedobear Seal of Approval for devious crim protecting behaviour.
You probably think that the headline is a little over the top but it is true that a global pandemic far worse than Swine Flu in enveloping the world and the consequences are very, very lethal.
I am of course talking about Silly First Name Syndrome and loyal readers have been emailing cases to highlight the global pandemic of Silly First Name Syndrome.
When I heard about the death of Mike Tyson’s four-year-old daughter, Exodus, who strangled on a treadmill cord, I got a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I have a 4 1/2 and a 2 1/2 year old, and before I learned the news, I had just made a phone call to get our treadmill put back together to be used in the basement. Now, I’m reconsidering.
This silly fool thinks it was the treadmill that killed. WRONG! it was her silly first name.
Police have stormed the Horowhenua Sailing Club to evict squatters who had lived in the club rooms for months.
But the squatters, some associated with the Nomads gang, were not phased by the trespass notices issued during Wednesday’s raid, and were outside the club house yesterday.
They said they were going to chain the gates shut at the Lake Horowhenua entrance and begin another occupation.
A woman, who did not want to be named, was outside the club rooms when police arrived on Wednesday.
“We were just surrounded by police … we were telling them to get the f*** off our land.
“They chucked everything off the top balcony.”
A power company cut off the electricity, which had been connected by the squatters.
The woman who didn’t want to be named apparently was Misty Nelson. Bad things happen to people with Silly First Names and the people around them.
French police are searching for a British businessman after his girlfriend was found battered to death in their suite at Paris’s famous Hotel Bristol.
Ian Griffin, 39, from the London area, was said to have fled the hotel in a Porsche 911 after the naked body of his 36-year-old partner, Kinga Legg, was found in the bath.
Some in the mainstream media are also starting to notice. Veteran pinko Simon Cunliffe must have been reading this blog because he has written in the ODT about Silly First Name Syndrome. Apparently Simon Cunliffe was a Labour Government spin-doctor before joining the ODT (but from his writings, it is hard to tell that he has changed jobs). He has a whine and food blog, as well as literary pretensions. Nevertheless he has noticed the increasing prevalence of Silly First Name Syndrome.
Just remember when your doctor informs you of the terrible toll that Swine Flu may visit upon the earth that a far more menacing illness is already killing and maiming. Also remember that it may not be you who is afflicted by Silly First Name Syndrome, but you could easily be affected by close contact with an afflicted person.