Union hacks line up behind Minister

The union hacks are now lining up behind Benson-Pope with one of them being Richard Good.

Richard Good, the PPTA’s representative for Otago and Southland says the union is usually involved in every step of the complaint process but he has never been advised of a serious parental complaint against Mr Benson-Pope.

Mr Good says he has been in the job 19 years and has records of all his dealings with Bayfield High School, but neither the former principal Bruce Leadbetter nor Mr Benson-Pope ever advised him of a serious complaint from a parent.

Not surprising at all Mr Good since David Benson-Pope was in your position immediately prior to you and you are now his Electorate Chairman. Further David benson-Pope was the union rep at Bayfield.

My experience of Unions involved in serious allegations of this sort is for them to arrange a glowing reference for the teacher concerned then help them get a transfer elsewhere based on the glowing reference.


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  • you have some, but one case is hardly indicative of the way things are conducted, especially as it was before some major changes to the way Teachers Council operates and oversees complaints made against teachers.  (Although those changes would not have applied to DBP either, but have applied for over a year now – FYI basically it is no longer possible for a teacher to just resign if a complaint is laid against them and they just move on to a new school/EC centre – it is now mandatory for the employer to report to the Teachers Council about any complaints made within 12 months of a resignation, and the Teachers Council must then investigate).

    Anyway, there is a higher standard for teachers’ conduct than there is for other workers – there are codes of ethics and ANYONE can complain to the Teachers Council about any teacher – it doesn’t have to be someone with any association with the school.  For example I have heard of complaints going to the teachers council about a teachers "inappropriate" relationship, i.e. they lived with a stripper (how does that affect their ability to be a good teacher??) and for someone getting a parking ticket because they broke the traffic rules around the school crossing (as in the person making the complaint got the ticket and then complained that the teacher had acted maliciously, when they had just followed school policy about making a report about people who come up and verbally abuse the teacher and children on crossing duty).  It’s a vulnerable profession – everyone thinks they can teach, particularly parents, when it is in fact a difficult skill to master and maintain.  When every eye is also on your private conduct it makes life hard.

    None of this is to defend DBP.  IMHO he should resign, he’s just too tainted.  But it is sad that there are many excellent teachers who, if complaints were taken out of context, could be similarly publically crucified. 

  • Whaleoil

    Excellant comments, I gave only one example, but i have plenty more. Plus there are my own experiences of teachers.

    Also What DBP did or didn’t do isn’t really the issue, it is the way he has handled it since, spun, twisted and blamed everyone else. If he had just said that he did those things, times were different and looking back on them now he is remorseful he would have got away with it, no smoking gun no issue.

    BUT, he didn’t, first up he denied it, then he lied about it, then he smeared the accusers, unfortunately Helen Clark doesn’t come off much better either.

    My wife is an ex-teacher, I say ex because the "system" essentially destroyed her will to teach any more. She was an excellant teacher as the filing cabinet bulging with letters of thanks from her students will attest to. However the system did indeed break her. The work levels are simply appalling, the gratitude and rewards are few nad you are right in assuming that every thinks they can teach when most demonstrably they cannot.

    If I llok back on my schooling at Secondary school, I had 5 years of teaching of 6 subject so 30 different teachers. I cannot name one single one as outstanding, only one as good and the rest were distinctly mediocre. One a maths teacher essentially bullied and cajoled and embarrased me out of his class because I couldn’t understand Quadratic Equations. I think i wagged 6 months of fifth form maths because of that wanker. Did my parents know…nup, did the teacher do anything about my wagging, nup, did the school nup….why because he marked me as present at each and every class. The sad thing is that this guy is now a Principal and everytime I see him in the press I want to ripp off his useless mediocre head.

    There are excellant teachers out there, but clearly not enough. The system destroys their love of teaching. The best teachers I know or knew are no longer teachers.