How can any teacher possibly be registered AND reckless?

A teacher who drove students without seatbelts and took them kayaking without lifejackets was reckless, the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal says

The tribunal said Stuart Albery set a bad example for his students and was guilty of serious misconduct.

The tribunal’s report said Mr Albery took a group of four Year 13 physical education students kayaking on a local river in March 2016.

He had expected one of the students would have a full drivers licence by the time of the trip, but they did not.

The report said Mr Albery drove three of the students to the river on the front bench seat of his ute, where they did not have seatbelts.

At the river, the teacher had not organised life jackets, and left the students unattended while he went to his home nearby to change his socks.

The report said the river had a gentle flow and was not deep. It said there was little chance the students would be unable to exit their kayaks and wade to shore if they fell out.

However, the students were concerned by their teachers’ absence and the parents of three of the students later complained to the school.

The tribunal said the teachers’ decision to drive the students without seatbelts was alarming and reckless.

“As well as putting the welfare of his students at risk, the respondent set a very poor example to these young people. They reported feeling uncomfortable but felt impelled to comply.

“He flouted a basic law in this country and reinforced a known misapprehension of young people that they are bullet-proof.”

The tribunal said it found the man’s attitude to the use of lifejackets equally disturbing.

Teachers hold a special and privileged place in the sense that they stand in for the parent.  The state forces the children to have an education.  In exchange, the state guarantees that your children will be educated, well looked after and safe.

This is called in loco parentis.

Not putting seatbelts on is breaking the law.  Not providing buoyancy aids shows a serious lack of judgement.   And as for just abandoning kids near a river while they are meant to be supervised…

I’d expect this man to be deregistered and lose his teaching license.

“The charge of serious misconduct is therefore fully established,” the tribunal said.

It ordered the man to enrol in a risk management course, which he has since completed.

They better pray to whatever gods they have the man doesn’t put a black mark against their judgement.   To me, seatbelts, life jackets and then abandoning them altogether while they are mucking around near water is more the reckless – it’s gross negligence.

And another thing.  The incident happened March 2016.   The report has just been released just short of a year and a half later.   That’s not good enough.




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