Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

'Foot fetish' teacher banned

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A teacher who paid to suck on a young student's toes and feet to feed his sexual fetish has been convicted by a court and banned from teaching.

The NZ Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has ordered the primary school teacher be formally censured for his conduct and has cancelled his teacher's registration.

The tribunal found the man, who'd been teaching about nine years, befriended a boy in his class, aged 10.

For several years, the teacher gave the student money, clothing, food and mobile top-ups and would drive him around in his car. As the student grew and went to high school, the teacher stayed in touch with him.

Evidence given by the student through an affidavit described what happened on one day when he was 12. The affidavit read: "The victim removed his sweaty footwear. The [teacher] was fixated with the victim's feet and began to lick his feet and suck his toes. This continued for around 30 seconds."

Eventually, the behaviour led to the teacher giving the student oral sex.

The tribunal heard how another male student - aged 13 and a friend of the first student - also had the same acts performed on him.

"[The second student] got into the [teacher's] car and sat in the rear seat putting his feet through into the front of the car. The [teacher] began to lick and suck the victim's feet and toes."

The teacher, pleaded guilty in a District Court last year and was convicted on four charges, including indecent assault on a young person. He was sentenced to 12 months' home detention and 250 hours' community service.

Meanwhile, two other cases before the disciplinary tribunal have resulted in the teachers involved having their teacher's registration cancelled.

In the first case, a male high school teacher was disciplined after he struck a student with a pencil case and grabbed students with inappropriate force when they didn't obey him.

He was convicted by a District Court on three counts of assaulting a child and one of assaulting a person with a blunt instrument, and sentenced to 300 hours of community service.

In the second case, a male teacher was censured for serious misconduct after a member of staff found him in his classroom alone with a young girl, tickling her.

The girl was in a Year 5 and 6 class of students aged 9 to 11. In an affidavit, the school secretary told the tribunal one day early last year she found the teacher in his classroom sitting on a chair, reaching out and grabbing hold of the girl's top. The two were laughing.

"[He was] pulling the neckline down as he pulled her towards him," she said. The teacher said he was trying to cheer the girl up and his actions were innocent.

- NZ Herald

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