Assault teacher 'wanted respect'

The teacher was found guilty of common assault. Photo / iStock
The teacher was found guilty of common assault. Photo / iStock

A teacher who was found guilty of physically assaulting a pupil in his classroom says he wanted respect from his pupils.

Reginald Deans, 54, appeared at the Education Council disciplinary tribunal in Wellington this morning for assaulting a pupil in his class.

Mr Deans, now a Masterton resident, was a teacher at Tongariro School when he pushed a 12-year-old pupil in his classroom in November 2014, the hearing heard.

He was found guilty of common assault at fined $500 at the Taupo District Court in July last year.

During the trial, Judge Cooper was also "satisfied Mr Deans yelled and intimidated two teacher aides at the school," the hearing heard.

Mr Deans said he wanted to be respected and for his culture to be respected by his pupils.

"I expect the place I work to be safe," he said.

Complaints Assessment Committee lawyer Sally Carter said the way in which Mr Deans showed no remorse after the incident was the "primary concern".

"While this is a borderline case, the circumstances of the conviction, but more importantly his response, is telling. "Mr Deans wasn't prepared to cooperate with staff at the school. There's a pattern running up to that," she said.

His attitude was "it's my way or no way," Ms Carter said.

"There hasn't been evidence to engage to try and address the issues, not to pupils, or school, or to staff."

Because of his lack of remorse, the only appropriate punishment was to cancel his teaching registration, she said.

Lawyer for Mr Deans, Dzintra King, said he wished to continue teaching and therefore a censure and conditions while teaching was appropriate.

"He has spent a long time dealing with students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is very unfortunate this event has occurred."

Ms King said he had undertaken counselling and there were "indications he is willing to participate in practises to keep his registration".

Hearing chairman, Ken Johnston, said it seemed Mr Deans' counselling discussed the affects the incident had on himself and his family, rather than discussing how he would alter his behaviour to ensure there was no repetition.

Mr Johnston reserved his decision.

- NZ Herald

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