From the first formal complaint, it took 9 years to deregister this pervert

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Whaleoil has been pushing for a change in the culture of the heavily slanted bias towards protecting teachers against the consequences of their unacceptable or illegal behaviour. A change would see and end to name suppression, and careers continuing causing more children to be victimised.

Over the last few years the issue of name suppression has become less of a concern as teachers who break the law are invariably outed by name – eventually.

The remaining concern is that from the time concerns are initially raised to the time the teachers are taken away from situations where they can continue to affect the lives of our children is simply too long.

Here is a textbook example that took nine years, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. 

Staff and parents at Aberdeen School in Hamilton complained as early as 2007 that Colin Shannon was overly-familiar with students.

The New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal heard allegations that he kissed a child on the forehead and that he was found with girls’ hands in his pockets on more than one occasion.

In 2011 Mr Shannon was ordered to be supervised in his classroom for at least two years and that a final warning remain in his file until a review in September 2016.
His classroom was also rearranged so he was visible at all times, he was removed from playground duties and not permitted to be with any fewer than three students.

But the tribunal found complaints continued, including an allegation from a former parent at the school that Mr Shannon made their daughter sit on his knee during class time.

Mr Shannon said it was the students who sat close to him and while he felt uncomfortable there was nowhere else for him to sit.

The tribunal ordered he be deregistered as a teacher and pay more than $2300 in costs.

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I appreciate that you don’t deregister teachers on a whim because you take their livelihood away.  And I also appreciate the fact that he was given every chance to clean up his act.

But did this really have to span nine years?  He will have been up to his perverted ways well before the first formal complaint in 2007.

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Colin Shannon has been allowed to continue his trail of destruction for over decade.  Parents were complaining.  And yet Mr Shannon was allowed to continue teaching.

By any standard, that’s too long.  That is a clear failure to protect our children.

What should worry you more is that there are more Colins out there whom we don’t know about, allowed to continue and remain a clear-and-present danger to the children in their care.

By all means keep the safeguards to ensure malicious and frivolous complaints aren’t allowed to destroy people’s careers.  A better balance, however, between protecting the teachers and protecting the children is needed desperately.

 

– Newshub, Tribunal decision


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