No more hiding behind suppression for kiddie fiddling teachers

After decades of criminal teachers hiding among the community, recent changes to the Teachers Councils protocols means that teachers that have any sexual connection with students will now face permanent public exposure.

Misbehaving teachers will be routinely named and shamed, even if their misconduct came before a rule change favouring the publication of names, a disciplinary tribunal has ruled.

Former Ashburton College teacher Michael Burrell-Smith recently lost a bid to hide his name after his registration was cancelled for inappropriate relationships with at least two female pupils.

He argued the notice of charge for his conduct was filed and served before July 1, when a rule change came into effect in favour of publishing teachers’ names in disciplinary cases. Previously, the default position was that names were suppressed.

Since the new rules came in, 20 teachers whose misconduct took place before July 1 but whose decisions came out after that have appeared before the tribunal.

Six unsuccessfully sought name suppression.

They all try to hide from the consequences.

Destroying the trust given to you must have life long consequences.

New Zealand Teachers’ Council acting director Rob McIntosh said name suppression changes were made to increase transparency.

“The council welcomes the fact that teachers whose actions have not met the required standards have received greater public scrutiny,” McIntosh said.

Ashburton College principal Grant McMillan welcomed the public naming of Burrell-Smith, who left the school in April 2013.

“His naming means that at any Google search will bring this up,” he said.

It is a great and necessary step in the right direction.

But the Teachers Unions continue to state that the teacher registration system is needed to ensure quality.  And although heaving them out of the back end and doing so publicly is a great improvement, the real problem is weeding these sickos out before they even get a chance to start.

Next, a much more rigorous process of weeding them out if they did manage to expose themselves to students.

Teacher registration is all well and good, but if they can’t keep sexual predators away from children in the first place, we should be patting ourselves on the back too much about suppression no longer being applied.


– Myles Hume, The Press


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  • Blue Tim

    What about these lovelys?

    @LIVENewsDesk: Two Wanaka pre-school teachers have been deregistered after admitting they bought and sold ecstasy at work

    • If you realise how much effort is involved to become a teacher in the first place, you just can’t understand how they can throw it all away so easily.

      • Michael_l_c

        Police officers & employees do it, doctors do it, lawyers do it etc. All part of the human condition. Comes down to personal standards, ethics & integrity.
        Some of the most honest people are criminals who admit they are criminals.

      • burns_well_eh

        Thinking with the wrong brain, I guess.

  • Imogen B

    “No more name suppression for kiddie fiddling teachers”
    Now there’s an idea with merit. How long did it take the TCs to think that one up?
    Long past time they stopped trying to masquerade as a professional body and admit they are only irrelevant and outdated trade unions.

  • GMAK

    Now if only the nz justice system will follow. Name suppresion should be granted at the request of the victim, not the crim