Teacher who slept with boy: I'm not safe with students

By Brendan Manning

'If you want to deregister me please so so quickly so I can get on with my life.' A newly deregistered teacher was found to have slept in the same bed as a 12-year-old boy. Photo / Thinkstock
'If you want to deregister me please so so quickly so I can get on with my life.' A newly deregistered teacher was found to have slept in the same bed as a 12-year-old boy. Photo / Thinkstock

A teacher has had his registration cancelled after inviting a 12-year-old boy to sleep in his bed and admitting he is not "safe" with students.

A New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal decision released last week detailed charges brought against the teacher by the Teachers Council's Complaints Assessment Committee.

The notice of charge from October 28, 2011 alleged the teacher - whose name was suppressed - formed an inappropriate relationship with a 12-year-old male student from June 2010 while the teacher was employed at an unnamed college.

The inappropriate relationship involved having the child sit on his lap for long periods, having the child stay at his home overnight, taking topless photos of the child, massaging his back, washing his hair in the shower and sharing the same bed overnight, the charge detailed.

The Complaints Assessment Committee's counsel Gaeline Phipps said the teacher's behaviour was "characteristic of grooming".

At a preliminary stage of the committee's investigation, the teacher said it was not his intention to continue teaching.

The concluding paragraphs of his letter to the committee stated: "Finally I would like to say that teaching is not a particularly well paid occupation which I took up because I thought I could do some good."

The hassle of the investigation was not worth the compensations, he said.

"I have been so mentally and physically stressed by these events that I will not be teaching in a school either primary or secondary in the foreseeable future, even if the NZTC allows me to keep my registration.

"Hence, I no longer really care what happens from here on. So if you want to deregister me please do so quickly so I can get on with the rest of my life."

The teacher denied that there was anything improper - sexual or otherwise - in his relationship with the student, however accepted he had failed to maintain appropriate boundaries and as a result was not "safe".

He said the student slept in his bed without any coercion or persuasion "based I would speculate on his need for a surrogate father figure".

The tribunal found the teacher guilty of serious misconduct, censured him and cancelled his registration.

- APNZ

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