Teacher stole lunches from young pupils

By Mahvash Ali

A teacher was caught taking food from children's lunchboxes.
A teacher was caught taking food from children's lunchboxes.

A teacher at a childcare centre has been censured after she was caught on camera stealing food from the lunchboxes of her pupils.

A Teachers Council complaints assessment committee decision said the children were not believed at first when they complained that food was going missing from their lunchboxes in November 2011.

It was not until the woman was caught on CCTV opening the children's lunchboxes and either putting the contents in a plastic bag, a pocket or straight into her mouth, that it became apparent the children were telling the truth.

The woman did not deny the allegations and in a letter to the Teachers Council made no excuses for her behaviour, accepting that it amounted to serious misconduct.

"She emphasised that she was trying to put this incident behind her, that there would be no repetition, and that she was hoping to move on with her career," the committee's decision said.

On a charge of serious misconduct, the woman was censured and conditions were placed on her practising certificate for five years that she must disclose the decision to all future employers who require a practising certificate and tell the council that she had done so.

In another decision, a high school teacher had his registration cancelled after threatening to kill his Year 11 science students, saying he hoped to meet them down a dark alley.

School authorities learned last year of the threats after a parent complained in May that the man had "threatened to smash the children's heads in" and said she had concerns about his behaviour in the past.

The teacher admitted in a meeting with the acting principal that he had "lost the plot" verbally with the Year 11 students but that he did not "throttle the clowns".

Separately, four other students complained that the teacher was so upset with a group of latecomers to the class that he called the entire group "motherf*****s", and stood in front of a group of girls and said, "I hope I meet youse [sic] down a dark alleyway so I can kill the lot of youse, make youse bleed and cry for help."

Students said they felt uncomfortable and scared.

The board of trustees of the school, which was not named in the decision, determined the man's behaviour amounted to serious misconduct and he resigned in June last year.

The Teachers Council has cancelled his registration. APNZ

- APNZ

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