A young male teacher has been barred from teaching again after sending a text saying "I love you" to a 16-year-old girl in his English class.

The teacher used texts, Snapchat and Instagram to communicate with the girl.

He also took the girl and a friend into town at 11pm one night, without their parents' permission, and took them home at 2am.

On another occasion he took a two-litre tub of ice cream to the girl at her father's house, without her father's knowledge, saying he hoped it would cheer her up after "fights she was having with her parents".


The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has found that the teacher "exploited his position" by developing a relationship with the student, even though there was no sexual intercourse. It has cancelled his teaching registration.

All names and the school's location have been suppressed to protect the two girls involved, who were still students at the school when the tribunal heard the case last September.

The teacher, who was aged 23 last year, was in his first teaching job and was still only provisionally registered when he taught at the school from February 2015 until September 2016.

An agreed statement of facts states that early in 2016, the teacher added the girl, named only as "Student A", to his Instagram account while doing reading logs with a group of her classmates at lunchtime.

"He did this in front of the students. Student A then messaged him via Instagram on what to do for the logs and other course work," the agreed statement said.

"However, the conversations later changed to being friend-based and occurring over multiple types of social media including texting, Snapchat and Instagram."

The school principal heard rumours about this and asked the teacher about it in July 2016. The teacher told the principal "he had not had any communication via digital media with Student A or any other student".

"The respondent later accepted he had lied," the statement said.


The girl's mother also challenged the teacher about his relationship with the girl.

Despite these warning signs, the girl then "initiated further communication with the respondent and things escalated".

"During the relationship, words like 'love' and 'affection' were used. On at least one occasion, the respondent texted Student A, 'I love you'," the statement said.

In one text exchange, the girl told the teacher: "hahaha I was actually so trashy we walked around [town] in our bras I'm pre sure mine came off tho.... whoops f**k idk."

The teacher replied: "omg [her name] you are a crazy chick. Haha I bet those [town] people were loving you, giving them a free show ;) party hard while you can cause it don't last forever! Just don't get knocked up haha."

The girl responded: "f--k that honestly I haven't had sex in sooooo long! haha."

The teacher texted back: "Sadly I know the feeling too! Hahaha."

The agreed statement said: "Some time after the July meetings, the respondent delivered a two-litre tub of ice cream to Student A while she was staying at her father's house. Neither of Student A's parents were aware of this and the respondent knew that.

"He took it to Student A because she was upset and he thought it would cheer her up. He understood she was upset because of fights she was having with her parents."

On Saturday September 10, 2016, the girl texted the teacher asking him to take her and a friend into town at about 11pm.

He took the two girls into town, about 20km away, "then went and socialised with his own friends at his flat". He picked the two girls up again at about 2am and took them home.

Student A's mother complained to the principal on September 19. The next day the other girl's mother confirmed what had happened. The teacher resigned from his job on September 26.

The tribunal found that the teacher was "not a fit and proper person to hold the responsibility of membership of the teaching profession".

"A teacher's treatment of a student as a friend can have a detrimental effect on a student, sometimes more than a sexual relationship," it said.

"When a teacher thinks of a student as a son or daughter, friend, confidant, lover or object of desire, they need to be aware that the boundaries of the teacher/student relationship are blurred.

"When the teacher's feelings are manifested whether by conversations of a personal nature, flirtatious behaviour, special treatment or intimate contact, then the teacher has exploited his or her position and the teacher/student relationship has been violated."