New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal working a lot better

Long time readers may recall that I went through a stage of highlighting that name suppression didn’t serve society.   And specifically in the case of dodgy teachers, who continued to teach and had their name and crimes suppressed in all but the most heinous cases.

The New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has changed this stance and although there are still a lot of things I’d like to see improve, such has the time it takes between offence and de-registration and the time it takes between concerns being raised and a teacher actually being removed from the classroom, most of the dodgy ones now get biffed from the profession and earn a permanent public record because they are no longer granted name suppression.

But it seems it is still not working well enough.

A teacher has been censured and has lost his registration after having a sexual relationship with a student.

The man and his 17-year-old student developed a close relationship during the 2015 school year, according to a New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal decision.

They then spent a lot of time together when she visited the teacher over the school holidays with the intention of discussing career options.

After five days in a row of visits, the pair acknowledged they liked each other a lot and kissed.

They remained in frequent contact over the remainder of the summer holidays and on the weekend of Valentine’s Day 2016, they had sex in a hotel room booked by the teacher, according to the tribunal finding.

“Eventually the relationship became sexual. They exchanged messages through Facebook professing their affection for each other.”

The relationship between the pair – whose names were suppressed, along with the name and location of the school – was discovered by the student’s mother.

She told the school’s principal and when an investigation began the teacher admitted the sexual relationship and that he knew it was wrong.

“[He told the principal] he knew it was ‘not something we should be doing’, but his heart got the better of his head.”

He signed a voluntary undertaking not to teach, with immediate effect. He also expressed sorrow for the effect the relationship had on the student during her last year of school.

I guess it is an edge case.  It was consensual.  He voluntarily has left the profession.   But this could be the thin end of a wedge that caused so much pain and fear in the past:  not knowing if your teacher was dodgy or not, and no way of finding out.

He’s now free to repeat his bad judgement in other roles that involve teens.   Not sure that’s really right.


– NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.