Alf is left bemused by the determinations of the Teachers Council.
A teacher found guilty of lying, cheating and arranging for the principal to be threatened (or worse) can continue teaching.
The teacher who slapped a student’s head during a tussle over a pen can continue teaching, too.
He has been censured, nevertheless, as we learn here.
The science teacher – who, along with the school and student, was not named by the council’s disciplinary tribunal – said he acted instinctively after losing an eye during a traumatic incident when he was younger.
The tribunal heard two students involved in the tussle had their hands grasped around a red pen, which they were pulling on.
The teacher, who was crouched down at the time, saw the pen’s ink ball pointing towards his face and coming towards him rapidly.
He instinctively stood up, struck the student over the back of his head with an open hand, and said something like, “If you do that again, I will give you another one.”
The student was upset but was not injured.
He wouldn’t have been treated so gently if Alf had been the teacher.
He would have been given a bloody good caning.
But namby-pamby teaching practices nowadays rule that out.
Instead, the school launched a disciplinary investigation and the teacher resigned.
His case was not treated as sympathetically as it would have been had he been a student.
The tribunal heard the respondent had a prosthetic right eye as a result of a workshop accident when he was younger, in which a screwdriver head slashed across the front of his eye, cutting the cornea and removing part of the lens.
A psychologist’s report found although the teacher could not recall details of the earlier incident, it had caused him to react automatically when he saw the pen moving towards his face.
And so it is the teacher who has been given something of a caning.
The tribunal formally censured the teacher for serious misconduct, ordered him to inform prospective employers of its decision for a period of one year, and to contribute towards costs.
Let’s see (here) what might have happened if the teacher had done something more dastardly.
A teacher tried to hire a gang member to assault her principal because she was being hassled about lies she told to the school, a disciplinary hearing has found.
The high school teacher, whose name is suppressed, told a student she would “sort something out” for her if she arranged for her grandfather, who had gang connections, to confront the principal.
The teacher told a colleague she had arranged for the principal to be “capped”, which the colleague took to mean an injury to the knees.
What else do we know about this teacher?
The disciplinary tribunal heard the teacher also fabricated grades for work not done by students, forged the head of department’s signature, and lied about what classes she had taught.
Maybe she should have become a Labour politician.
As for the incident that brought about her undoing –
The teacher feared she was going to be fired and so hatched a plan for one of her students’ grandfathers to threaten the principal.
A colleague she told of the plan reported the teacher to the principal, who contacted police.
The teacher was arrested and charged with attempting to commit or procure the commission of a crime.
She received diversion and no formal conviction was entered against her.
The teacher wrote a letter to apologise for her actions, donated $150 to charity and attended counselling.
There’s lots more to the case, if you care to check out the Herald report.
Suffice to say, the woman quit after being arrested but told the Teachers’ Council she wanted to return to the profession.
The disciplinary hearing was to establish if she should be deregistered as a teacher.
You wouldn’t want this teacher in your school, would you?
Or anyone’s school.
Despite her “unprofessional” actions and “serious misconduct”, the Teachers’ Council has given the teacher permission to return to the classroom after a disciplinary hearing last month.
Fair to say, the tribunal decided conditions for the teacher to meet before she could go back to the classroom.
They include requiring her to obtain a report from a psychiatrist confirming her “psychological health is sufficiently robust”, provide a copy of her disciplinary report to future employers, complete professional development courses and undergo intensive supervision for a 20-week period.
Perhaps it’s a bit more than is required of the one-eyed science teacher.
But not much.