Just when you think the lunacy that masquerades as education these days can't get any worse, it does.
Why is that every time there is a change in government in this country the new outfit takes a chainsaw to what its predecessor has done and replaces the old brand of idiocy with its own, but no one ever does anything about the fatuous rules that scream for attention, and just about make teaching impossible?
The latest bizarre instalment in the demise of all that is rational was delivered last week by the Teachers' Disciplinary Tribunal, which found that an unnamed teacher at an unnamed school who physically carried a recalcitrant child to the principal's office was guilty of misconduct.
"Some deluded souls will see nothing wrong with this picture, but anyone who is not utterly mystified by the explosion of bad behaviour that is well on the way to reducing the teaching profession to something akin to cruel and unusual punishment will see plenty."
Inexplicably, given the nature of these things, it did not go as far as serious misconduct, but it was found to be deserving of censure. The incident was also said to reflect adversely on his fitness to "practice".
This obviously brutal attack began when the little thug, Student A, was accused of hurting three other pupils, who were distressed when they approached the teacher. He subsequently put his hand on the boy's shoulder and steered him in the direction of the principal's office.
When the boy grabbed a bar and wouldn't move, the teacher prised his fingers free, then took him by the waist with both arms and carried him.
The tribunal described this as involving inappropriate use of force against a student, and found the teacher guilty of misconduct. It was, in fact, borderline serious misconduct, it added, because the teacher was guilty not of a brief reaction but a sustained use of force, albeit not for "bad effect or purpose".
His actions did not constitute physical abuse. Whew! That must have been close.
However, the tribunal found that the teacher's conduct was likely to adversely affect the wellbeing of the student.
Stone the crows. Where do they find these people?
Some deluded souls will see nothing wrong with this picture, but anyone who is not utterly mystified by the explosion of bad behaviour that is well on the way to reducing the teaching profession to something akin to cruel and unusual punishment will see plenty.
The first thing Student A needed was discipline, something he was obviously lacking. If the brat wasn't prepared to walk to the principal's office of his own volition, what was the teacher supposed to do? Negotiate? Give up and walk away? Acting as he did raised no hint whatsoever that he ill-treated the boy in any way - he picked him up, for goodness' sake, and carried him.
It is almost unbelievable that whoever appoints the Teachers' Disciplinary Tribunal could find three individuals who would interpret this set of facts as these three did. They are helping to maintain a system that teaches children, at a very young age, that they have rights for Africa. That they can misbehave to their hearts' content and will be treated as the victim.
Don't want to go to the principal's office? Then don't. Just dig your heels in. The moment the teacher touches you, you've got him. How he's the one who's in trouble. He's the one who has to explain himself. He's the one who will render himself liable to speculation that perhaps he isn't fit to teach.
This is no longer a joke. What this country desperately needs is a Minister of Education who will put a stop to it. What are the chances of finding one of those? About the same as the chances of this teacher being promoted, or even of keeping his job. (In fact he's gone - and who can blame him - not necessarily from teaching but back to England, where he came from).
Most teachers would surely jack it in at this point. There must be easier, more dignified ways of making a living than kow towing to ridiculous rules set by goodness knows who that are sending our education system to hell in a handcart.
And there are people in this country who reckon that the problems afflicting the teaching profession are, in no particular order, national standards, the cost of houses in Auckland, pies in tuck shops and ancillary staff pay rates. When is one of these defenders of the right of every child to go to school, to be safe there, and to gain a decent education, going to stand up and declare the emperor to be naked?
When will the teacher unions get their heads out of their rule books and election manifestos and call on a Minister to dispense with the dopey dictates that have emasculated teachers to the point where they are no longer in charge of their own classrooms and playgrounds?
Will any of the people who were tut tutting about how such an obviously defective individual as this teacher got into the profession in the first place, when he clearly has a penchant for expecting children to do as they are told, ever begin to ponder why teaching is now almost devoid of men?
Some of these people will be among those who bemoan the absence of male teachers, and who might well be genuinely mystified as to why that is so.
We have just about reached the point where anyone, particularly men, who aspires to be a teacher should undergo a psychiatric assessment to find out what's wrong with them.
And, so as not to disappoint those who see nothing wrong in this extraordinary situation, and are waiting for 'Back in my day ... ' here it comes.
If the writer had been Student A he would not have been grabbing bars and refusing to walk to the principal's office. Having done something heinous, and back in the day the heinous threshold was much lower than it is now, he would have been begging the teacher not to tell his father.
In case that paints a negative picture, the writer is the son of a good father who raised his children well. He could be relied upon, however, not to take news of misbehaviour at school with equanimity. Whatever punishment awaited in the principal's office would have been replicated at home.
Not in 2017. We know better than that now. These days kids who desperately need discipline don't get it, because it is their right to avoid correction. In the blink of an eye they are transformed from transgressor to victim. And that's a lesson that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
It's no wonder some kids find the transition from school to real life traumatic. The education system cossets them to such a degree that some emerge not only uneducated but with extremely unrealistic expectations about how they will be treated on the outside.
And who's the biggest loser in all this? Not the teacher, not the three kids who were hurt by Student A in the first place. It's Student A. He's the one who desperately needs a lesson, not as punishment but as correction. He needs to learn how to behave, to show respect for authority, and that his actions will have repercussions.
He has learned none of those. What he has learned is that he can do what he likes and the law will protect him.
Worst of all is that the Teachers' Disciplinary Tribunal found that the teacher's actions were likely to adversely affect Student A's wellbeing. When this boy ends up in jail, as he surely will, it will be the tribunal, not the teacher, that put him there.