A former Whanganui City College teacher has had his authority to teach cancelled after a fight with a student.
The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal found Thomas James Davies' fight with the student amounted to "serious misconduct" in a newly released decision.
The written decision said that on July 26, 2018, the teacher was talking with the deputy principal outside a classroom when a 15-year-old student walked past wearing a non-regulation sweater.
Davies requested the student take off the sweater twice, which he refused, it said.
Davies then directed the student into a nearby classroom, where principal Peter Kaua was teaching.
The student stood in front of Kaua while Davies explained the situation.
According to the summary in the decision, Davies said to the student words to the effect of "I'll give you two options. Take the jacket off or I will drop you/knock your f***ing block off."
The student then replied "drop me".
The tribunal said a video was presented as evidence which showed the pair then "squared off against one another", with Davies approaching the student's face. The student then pushed his hip and shoulder into Davies.
As Davies came closer to the student, the student then "pushed or punched" Davies' face, who then lunged forward and pushed him in response. The pair began grappling and fighting with each other, with Kaua and another student attempting to pull them apart," the decision said.
Kaua eventually grappled Davies off the student and held him back. Once Davies was standing, he continued to "square up" to the student, attempting to lunge and kick out at the student while Kaua restrained him. The student was then escorted out of the room.
The student suffered only minor injuries, with slight swelling under his right eye. He later relocated to Australia after the incident, and was not interviewed by the tribunal.
In the tribunal's decision, the three members found that when Davies originally approached the student, "he positioned himself so close to the student that he was almost touching him".
"He intruded on the student's personal space to such an extent that it was clearly a threatening action," it said.
The tribunal found that the behaviour of the teacher amounted to serious misconduct, and brought the teaching profession into disrepute.
"This type of thuggish behaviour has no place in the teaching profession," the tribunal's decision said.
Davies had served as the academic director of the school's Military Services Academy since 2010. He had a 10-year authority to teach, set to expire in January this year.
Previously, the teacher had spent 27 years in the army.
The incident was reported to Police, with Police choosing to deal with the issue with a "diversion approach".
It was later confirmed that Davies subsequently completed an unspecified amount of community work as part of his "alternative action plan".
After the incident the school's Board of Trustees gave Davies a final written warning and said his employment was conditional on the tribunal allowing him to retain his authority to teach, undertaking professional development, limiting his teaching solely to the Military Services Academy, and undertaking a restrictive justice process.
Davies later signed an undertaking not to teach pending the conclusion of an investigation.
On the last day of school in December 2018, Davies formally apologised to the staff of the school, the tribunal's decision said.
Only weeks later on January 11, 2019, he formally tendered his resignation, which was accepted.
In an email to the Complaints Assessment Committee, which took the case to the tribunal, Davies said he shouldn't have fought the student, but said the student had a "total lack of respect".
"Once he refused several times to put the correct uniform on, I specifically took him to the principal so he could deal with him," Davies wrote.
"In hindsight, wooda, coulda, shooda walked away [sic].
"The stress is huge. After you get assaulted, stood down, face the cops, get told to see a psych, annnnnd [sic] to jump through any other hoops a good boy has to jump through to get his job back."
The tribunal said in its decision that the email had an "arrogant, contemptuous tone, consistent with his overbearing and aggressive behaviour".
Davies was censured and the tribunal ordered the cancellation of his authority to teach.