Former Dargaville High School principal David Kenneth Bargh has gotten off too lightly.
A principal who stalked a young teacher, lurking around her home, has been censured by the teacher’s body.
Former Dargaville High School principal David Kenneth Bargh was convicted last April for loitering at the young woman’s home and unlawfully being in an enclosed yard.
Jessica McPherson, a teacher at the school Bargh headed, told the court she had lived “in constant fear” for months while he lurked in her garden late at night.
In a decision released today, the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal said his behaviour amounted to serious misconduct.
It acknowledged evidence given in court that his actions resulted from a flare up in his obsessive compulsive disorder, which sparked a deterioration in his mental health.
He became “fixated” with McPherson, the decision said, and when he was discovered by police on her property appeared “somewhat confused”.
Bargh was censured by the disciplinary tribunal, and a number of conditions placed on his practising certificate, including a requirement he inform any employer of his obsessive compulsive disorder.
A friend of a witness to some of this “compulsive behaviour” wrote to Whaleoil after reading the above report.
I know the real story about this. I was living in Dargaville when it happened. He has got off with a slap on the wrist for being a genuine creep with many instances being unreported.
My friend who lives next door to the harassed school teacher chased him several times away from his own house and was the guy who actually nailed him to the ground and called the cops when he was finally caught.
He should NOT be teaching
This is what he is responsible for.
Bargh, who has worked as a teacher for 25 years, claimed there was no malicious or menacing intent, or sexual motivation for his actions.
He has accepted his conduct was illegal.
He was convicted of four charges in April last year and fined $1000.
In her harrowing victim impact statement, McPherson described how the “prolonged” and “calculated” stalking took a toll on her life, and how she attempted to protect herself from an unknown prowler.
“I was, and still am, forever flinching at every noise, knocks at the door and constantly looking behind myself both in and outside,” she said.
McPherson said she felt “anxious and violated” by the stalking and had been “living in constant fear”.
“I have been a prisoner in my own home,” she said.
Someone with such a severe disorder needs to be fixed before returning to work. Not the other way around.
– Patrice Dougan, NZ Herald