A couple of days ago, I was reading in the English papers of the horrific case of a male teacher wrongly accused of groping female pupils.
The man was suspended for almost a year, and banned from being alone with his teenage son.
But much worse, he and his wife had just adopted a baby who was taken from them and will never be returned — despite the fact the man was not guilty of anything. In fact, he was shown to be away on parental leave, caring for the new member of the family, when the groping was supposed to have taken place.
It was a dreadful story and I was just thankful it wouldn't happen here. Hah! Twenty-four hours later, the story emerged of an Auckland teacher whose life became a living hell after a group of kids conspired to make false allegations against him.
After he shouted at boys in his class, the boys asked three female friends to accuse the teacher of indecent assault.
They did and those false allegations set off a process that shows how the system can destroy anyone once bureaucratic wheels start turning.
He was fired from the school. The Board of Trustees wouldn't wait for the result of the investigation and subsequent trial. He was let down by his employers and cast adrift. And yet after a six-day trial in the Auckland District Court it took the jury less than an hour to return not guilty verdicts on all seven charges after the admission from a number of the complainants that they had lied as part of a plan to have the teacher sacked.
The teacher's career is over.
After 40 years at the chalkboard, he may never be able to return to a classroom because his faith in the system of education, BOT governance, school support and even the children is shattered.
Of course it is. How could he stand in front of a classroom knowing the lengths children will go to to get their revenge on a teacher they feel has slighted them?
I couldn't imagine a worse accusation than committing indecency on children. I'd rather be accused of murder.
And the outrage around the country shows many people feel the same. They are wondering how the hell the police expert interviewers weren't able to untangle the web of lies ensnaring an innocent man.
Yes, of course the police have to tread carefully when it comes to child victims, especially children who claim to have been victims of sexual assault.
But have we learned nothing from the Christchurch Civic Creche case? Children can be suggestible; they can tell lies and they can be vengeful. It is absurd to think otherwise.
There needs to be a review of all the parties that failed this teacher. Otherwise how can any of us have faith in the education system, the police and the justice system? What's to stop the same Kafka-esque fate happening to us?
There have been suggestions this man deserves compensation and although I don't normally jump on the bandwagon when it comes to chucking money at any and every cause, I think in this case, it's entirely justified.
He has been dreadfully let down and a system that allows an innocent man to come to the brink of prosecution based on the lies of poisonous children is a system than needs to be fixed.
• Kerre McIvor's Sunday Sessions is on NewstalkZB today, 9am-noon.