Unfit to teach but protected by Unions

The teacher unions are there to protect useless teachers and hold back the good ones. What does it take to get fired as a teacher? It appears they can get away with almost anything and stay in front of a classroom:

Hundreds of teachers have criminal convictions and many are not fit to teach, newly released figures show.

Teachers have been investigated for sexual misconduct, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, incompetence, dishonesty and viewing pornography in the past two years.

The number of complaints has jumped by about half since the Teachers Council was set up in 2002 to vet teachers and independently investigate allegations of serious misconduct.

Of the 664 teachers whose behaviour triggered complaints since November 2009, nearly 300 were convicted of criminal offences.

Fourteen were struck off the Teachers Council register for serious code-of-conduct breaches or criminal offending. In total, nearly 50 teachers were stripped of their teaching licences in the past two years alone.

High-profile cases of misbehaving teachers include:

– A female teacher became pregnant with a 17-year-old high school pupil’s child after they put the school yearbook together.

–  A male teacher was caught with more than 200 pornographic images, including a videotape of his daughter and two foreign exchange students taking showers.

– Other cases include teachers viewing bestiality, committing theft, driving drunk and abusing illicit drugs.

Teachers’ unions say their members are often targeted by aggrieved parents with spurious allegations. The complaint process could be personally “traumatic” and professionally damaging.

Typical…the teachers always blame someone else. Time for my prescription of removing the monopoly on teacher representation.


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  • Anonymous

    The only thing they can’t do apparently is model in a men’s magazine.


  • MarkM

    300 spurious allegations were criminally convicted.
    Seems the court system must be failing Mr Duff

    My question is, if 300 are convicted of criminal offenses ,then why were only 14 struck off?.
    Mr Duff claims NZEI take seriously incompetent teachers ,but it appears that the only ones deregistered are a very small portion of those committing criminal acts

  • Kosh103

    Intresting spin on things there WO, one can be convicted of DIU (not a overly serious conviction) yet still be a very compentent teacher.

    The actual incompetent/dangerous ones were struck off.

    And before anyone starts spouting off, remember this – private life and proff life are 2 very differnt things. I am sure many of you do things in your own homes that you would never do at work, but you are still very compentent at what you do.

    Just another example of WOs endless attack on education.

    • Agent BallSack

      Surprise Kosh – I’m going to disagree with you. Everyone knows that drink driving is illegal. If a teacher (by definition; someone who educates), breaks the law in regard to this, a very set and firm, clear law, what other laws will they break? Not a good look to have someone who is in charge of your children flouting such an obvious law.

      • Kosh103

        Yea, like you have never broken the law in some way in your private life.

        Oh and guess what, teachers are only human and unless they are a real danger (not a pretend right wing one) to kids or are truely usless at teaching – all good.

      • Agent BallSack

        How to weed out the bad teachers then? I disagree with you on drink driving, it is a very serious offence which can lead to the death of others. Yes I have drink driving convictions, the last over 15 years ago. IMO teachers who drink and drive need counselling for alcohol dependency issues, like most of the people responding to your post. The thing is, *IF* I ever got pulled over and done for drink driving, I would consider myself a bad parent, for not setting the right example to my children. Teachers, who actually have charge of my children for more of the day than me, should be expected to live up to the same rules.

      •  Our staff are required to drive in the course of their employment. If one of them was to lose his/her licence for drink-driving, they would be unable to do the work they are contracted to do.

    • Agent BallSack

      Just another example of WOs endless attack on education”

      Is it an attack? Or an attempt to improve Education and its purveyors?

    • Groans

      Drunken driving is not serious! Is that what you think? If so stay bloody well away from Grafton will ya I value safe streets; or do you have special rights?

    • Tony

      You seem to spend alot of time on this site. Why aren’t you busy writing policy for your new boss – or are you waiting for June so that you start work for Silent ‘T’?

    • Anonymous

      Come on Kosh – plenty of people’s jobs are at stake if they get a single conviction for anything! It is just a simple fact that your behaviour during your private life can impact on your professional life – surely this is something that all new teachers are aware of prior to entering the classroom. 

      We’re not talking about what teachers do in the privacy of their own homes – we’re talking about illegal behaviour for which they are prosecuted and convicted. There is a big difference. 

      I like to think of the world in terms of linking things together – I collect tax on behalf of the government, that tax pays for good school teachers and those good school teachers produce good students who don’t rob me or vandalise my car. 

    • Yeah and the teacher I had who got us 7th formers to warm  his car up last period so he could leg it to the pub faster at 3:15pm was a stunning example of not overly breaking the law…a drink driving conviction is a symptom of a bigger problem…if you are willing to drive drunk then drinking has got the better of you…I would suggest that those teachers are actually alcoholics…in which case they will be like mine and have a bottle or two stashed in the classroom.

      • Gazzaw

        Anyone who drives under the influence either displays excessively poor judgement or has an ongoing alcohol problem (or both) and is not fit to be teaching.

    • joe bloggs

      “I am sure many of you do things in your own homes that you would never do at work…”

      Yes, at home I cook, clean the bathroom, do the laundry, make beds, vacuum floors, &c. – none of which I do at work.

      But I don’t fornicate with schoolboys, view bestiality, commit theft, drive drunk or abuse illicit drugs, nor do I commit acts of violence and dishonesty… all of which teachers appear to do with impunity

    • Anonymous

      (Compentent… twice in that blog.    Is that competent + repentant?)  

      Needing to drink daily, mid-afternoon, surely says something is deeply wrong.

      Sadly, teachers are articulate people full of garbage words and accustomed to a class of helpless children having to listen to them, so they always fire off thousands of stormy  letters to any critic.
      I just divide their comments by twenty.

      Disclosure of interest:  I taught for a while, and was a member of NZEI for some years.   Nasty, slanted, incompetent union with featherbedding for the favourites.

  • Blokeintakapuna

    Those that can… do, those that can’t… teach – or become Labour Party politicians!

    • joe bloggs

      … or troll this site bitching about Cam’s insights into the teacher union’s unwillingness to cut out the rot that pervades it…

      Still, at $1 a post Kosh is raking it in from his Willis Street masters

  • Kosh103

    Ahhh the over reaction to the plain simple truth that teachers are allowed to be humans and have a life outsude of school.

    Get over it.

    • Sarrs

      I don’t want some drug smoking, drunk driving degenerate teaching my kids! Ever! Perhaps if you want to be ‘human’ and break the law, you should have to disclose every single conviction to the parents of your students and allow them to decide if they want you influencing their kids. 

  • Anonymous

    “Teachers’ unions say their members are often targeted by aggrieved
    parents with spurious allegations. The complaint process could be
    personally “traumatic” and professionally damaging.”

    Actually this is a real issue. I heard a case where a teacher aide overheard two primary school girls discussing a plan to ‘set up’ a male teacher. The aide informed the principal who informed the teacher in question. He promptly resigned and left teaching altogether. He just was not going to risk it. Little wonder that male teachers are as scarce as hen’s teeth in pre-schools and primary schools. Boards and principals do need to identify if there was a likely spurious motive behind a complaint and if so to tread carefully.

    There was a case I heard of a police sergeant who stopped a suicide. The person lodged a complaint because her plan had been thwarted and police management commenced a full investigation. The sergeant promptly resigned and got a good private security job.

    • jay cee

      i agree, just look back at how the past revelations by disgruntled pupils brought down
      david benson-pope a few years ago. but this is straying from the point do we want teachers wit crimiinal convictions running our childrens classrooms ? -no.
      but in the future only saints need apply for teaching positions.

      • Peter Wilson

        yes, quite harmless, forcing a tennis ball into a students mouth….

  • Thorn

    Teachers and porn are a big no -no.

    • Doug_S

      Because neither of them could agree on how to do it…

  • Agent BallSack

    @Sarrs Here, here!

  • Agent BallSack

    Here, here!

    EDIT Oops, Whale reply appears to be jacking up both these posts were directed at Sarrs

  • Sarrs

    And compare these two – accountants who get censured have their names published pretty much all the time, teachers who get censured don’t have their names published. Both careers rely on positive public perception but only accountants face public scrutiny and transparency. This isn’t right – accountants can mess your tax up but teachers can mess your kids up, which is more important?



    • Callum

      The difference is Sarrs that you get to choose (and pay for) your accountant so should have all relevant information before doing so. You can’t pick and choose teachers for you kids, and don’t have a choice in who your taxes pay for.
      Wait, that doesn’t seem right….

    • Greg M

      Spot on Sarah, why the fuck did you want to be an accountant? I wouldn’t want your job , doing my own GST does my head in ! Cheers Greg.

  • Bunswalla

    @b32f09744e97966ab0d05f2db1e98c09:disqus WO has never in my experience attacked education. What he has rightly attacked is the teachers unions protecting and hiding incompetent, useless, and now it appears, criminal, teachers from public scrutiny and any accountability. Leave your left vs right ideological BS to one side for a minute, and ask yourself an honest question: do you really want any children you may one day have to be taught by a teacher who has been found guilty of sexual misconduct, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, incompetence or dishonesty?

    No, I didn’t think so.

    • Kosh103

      LMAO – yeaaaaaaaaaaa ok. Take the blinkers off and then try again.

      • Ratchet

        Shall we let convicted paedophiles enter the police force? Convicted P cooks work in the ambulance service? Arsonists in the fire service? It may sound extreme, but allowing teachers with criminal convictions remain in teaching is the same thing. As the educators of impressionable children the teachers MUST be held to a high standard of morality.

        Why are you so against the idea of removing people with criminal convictions from the teaching profession Kosh? Is there something in your past that precludes you from arguing for removing disgraced teachers? Have you been coerced into looking the other way by a colleague guilty of a major transgression?

        People are kicked out of jobs for far minor matters these days – I know of half a shift of forklift drivers dismissed after failing a drug test, not convicted of dealing, just testing positive for illegal substances. These guys drove forklifts, a responsibility that pales in comparison with educating our future generations.

        I put it to you, perhaps it’s attitudes such as yours that contribute to the general decay of morality in society over that last decade. Well? 

  • Kosh103

    I was wondering how long it would take for the reeeaaaaalllllly stupid suggests to pop up. Thank you Ratchet for being the poster boy/girl for the absurd right.

    • Ratchet

      Would you care to share why it is such a stupid suggestion? For a principal, your rebuttal is surprisingly short and lacking in substance. Perhaps the downfall in educational standards are attributable more to teachers jonesing for another glass of wine than the ‘dreadful’ national standards you complain about so bitterly? Let’s hear you explain why my comment is so stupid while defending fellow principal Martin Elliott perhaps?

      I’ve had first-hand experience of the primary school system for over 3 decades, and I have a good idea of what goes on behind closed doors. There are many VERY good teachers in the system, who work for the benefit of their students, and they should be supported, but there are some pretty shitty, self-serving, dishonest human beings working in the school system as well, and they should simply be purged.

      • Ksoh103

        You went to the worst situation and then tried to say that I support convicted pedos in the class teaching.

        If you bothered to read what I said you would see that this is NOT what I support or was even close to saying.

        It is very typical of people like YOU to take reasonable positions and then interject the most extream, pathetic, far out supid situation you can think of and then claim that this is the position your “target” has.

        Also given our world educational ranking I see you too have swallowed Nationals lies.

        So please do not bother trying your very stuipd little game with me, because I have no issues with slapping fools like you very hard.

    • Agent BallSack

      Kosh I dont see anything in Ratchet’s posts saying you supported pedos teaching, just a question as to why you don’t support character tests on teachers. And ohhh take the worst case scenario and postulate it, suddenly isn’t the domain of the left any more. I agree with Ratchets question though, what are you hiding? Its not your sexuality we all could give a rats arse about that so it has to be a drug or alcohol addiction or conviction?

      • Kosh103

        Read the post again. He/she has gone to the extream example, “Shall we let…” It was stupid and s/him full well knows from what I posted before this is not what I was suggesting.

        And please do not try the pathetic “oh what are you hiding…” track. That is also the area of stupidity and a rather childish attempt to shut a person down. Just remember what happened to the idiot who announced that me, a gay male adult, enjoys gay male R18 images and movies. He/she was slapped down with great force.

  • Sarrs

    Kosh – you only ever reply to the people who make outrageous statements that you can easily rebut. 

    • Kosh103

      Wrong. Although good to see you do not support the silliness posted by ratchet.

      • Ratchet

        While I may be prone to hyperbole at times, contrary to Sarrs comment, you have still not rebutted any of my comments in any meaningful way.

        In teaching private and personal life intermingle very closely, and teachers who engage in anti-social behavior outside of work hours demonstrate they should not be trusted with our children simply by virtue of their actions.

        Of all of the professions in this country teaching should classed as one where the people employed need to be held to a higher standard than the average. Children should not be receiving the message that it’s okay to drink and drive, it’s okay to take $6000 of the schools’ money and build a deck, that it’s okay to knock up one of the teachers, they need to know that there are consequences for behaviour outside the laws of this country.

        Seriously Kosh, you really think that people guilty of criminal acts should teach our children? It’s not a left vs right debate, it’s a matter of common sense.

      • Kosh103

        Actually I did. I showed it up for being a rather silly lurch to the most absurd.

        I see now you are softening your approach and pretending you didnt really mean to go to the pathetic.

        Unless the criminal act puts kids in danger I could not give a rats arse what a teacher gets up to in their own time. Seriously. I am more concerned as to if they are good at what they do. And if you are silly enough to think teachers dont mask their own views, or beliefs at school often then you are a fool. I know of many who teach the clean green thing, but in reality could not give a rats arse about the environment.

        As long as they are not a danger and are doing a good job, who cares. Well we know who cares, the 2 faced self serving right.