Amelia Wade is a court reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Teacher who kicked student with hearing impairment keeps job

A teacher who kicked the back-side of a Year 9 student with a hearing impairment because he wasn't listening has kept his job. Photo / iStock
A teacher who kicked the back-side of a Year 9 student with a hearing impairment because he wasn't listening has kept his job. Photo / iStock

A teacher who kicked the back-side of a Year 9 student with a hearing impairment because he wasn't listening has kept his job.

Peter Charles Rowlingson also has to pay more than $3000 for the costs of the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal hearings and processes and was censured for serious misconduct.

On November 11, 2015, Mr Rowlingson, a technology teacher at Melville High School in Hamilton, grew incensed when a student wouldn't listen to his instructions to stop throwing pieces of metal.

He told the disciplinary sub-committee that the student, known as Student A, along with others were throwing triangles of aluminium and washers around the room.

The teacher asked them to stop as he thought it was dangerous.

Mr Rowlingson said he was not aware of Student A's hearing problem and so asked him three times to stop playing with the hand tools and get on with his work.

When he continued, Mr Rowlingson said he became angry and frustrated and kicked Student A's back-side with the inside of his boot.

He used enough force to surprise the student but Mr Rowlingson told the sub-committee he did not intend to hurt him.

Student A swore at Mr Rowlingson, threw something on the ground then stormed out of the class to tell the Year 9 Dean what happened.

The teacher said while he was "incensed" by Student A's actions, he admitted his actions were a "very poor choice" and wrote a letter of apology to the student and his mother.

The disciplinary sub-committee found Mr Rowlingson of gross misconduct and was given a final written warning and conditions to work under, including:

• undergoing an anger management course

• have a restorative justice meeting with Student A and his caregivers under the supervision of the school's principal

• build his classroom management capacity by using the school's special classroom teacher and the assistant principal

• Give a written commitment to the board of his intention to act in a "professional manner".

He was also ordered to pay $3110 costs.

Mr Rowlingson was also censured in March 2013 for losing his temper at a colleague when he repeatedly shouted and swore, threw a rubbish bin and punched a whiteboard. He was ordered to undertake counselling.

- NZ Herald

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