February 28, 2021

…teacher’s actions outside school affected his ability to teach.

This is unbelievable:

But the board’s investigation of the allegations found no evidence the teacher’s actions outside school affected his ability to teach.


Spurned dad on assault charges

By LEIGH Van Der STOEP – Sunday Star Times | Sunday, 26 October 2008

A father has been charged with assaulting one of his son’s primary school teachers after the teacher had an affair with his wife.

He says the Auckland school failed to act after the affair, which started when the pupil’s mother began work there as a teacher aide.

He has been battling for almost two years to keep the teacher away from his eight-year-old son, but the school allowed the teacher to take some of the boy’s lessons.

Police say the woman’s 42-year-old husband went to the school earlier this year to retrieve his son’s file, but ran into the teacher. He allegedly patted the teacher’s back “forcefully”, causing him to spill his coffee.

“I put my hand on his shoulder and said, ‘Congratulations, you’ve won mate’. I was very sarcastic and patronising,” says the man, who the Sunday Star-Times has chosen not to name to protect the identity of his children.

Despite the minor nature of the allegations and that the man has no previous convictions, he was arrested at work two weeks later and kept in police cells for hours, before being charged with common assault.

The man says his son and two daughters knew the teacher was “partly” responsible for the break-up of their parents and he wanted to protect them from the stress of being in contact with him.

The teacher began the affair with the man’s wife in 2005.

When the man discovered the relationship in 2006 he complained to the principal, who told him there had been other similar allegations against the teacher, the man says.

The principal assured the man he would investigate and the teacher would be kept away from his two children at the school.

“It worked well and he left at the end of the year.

“Then we started getting newsletters last year at the end of third term saying, `We’re encouraging [the teacher] to come back… Why would they encourage someone like that to come back?”

Allegations had since emerged of the teacher asking the man’s wife and another woman for a threesome, drinking at the school’s pool after hours, and being drunk and abusive at the local bar.

“The disturbing thing was [the principal’s] attitude that ‘boys will be boys’, that there was this social scene with teachers. I’m not a teacher and I don’t behave like that.”

When the teacher returned to the school at the start of this year the man complained again to the principal and board of trustees, asking that the teacher be kept away from his son.

The school’s response was that the teacher took only occasional maths, drama and remedial reading lessons.

The boy could read “quietly” in the library during these lessons and did not have to have any contact with the teacher, the school told the father.

Meanwhile, the father had given the teacher a “verbal dressing down” on school grounds, warning him not to come near his family.

“It was strong, it was in his face but I didn’t swear or anything.”

This confrontation prompted the school to warn the man he would be issued with a trespass notice. That was put into force following the alleged assault in the staffroom.

The chairman of the school’s board of trustees said it was a “tricky situation” because it involved high emotion and personal relationships.

But the board’s investigation of the allegations found no evidence the teacher’s actions outside school affected his ability to teach.

The school had dealt with the matter appropriately, but he could not comment on actions taken by the previous board which first investigated, he said. “We took swift action when it needed to be taken…”

The father plans to complain to the Teacher’s Council. The teacher has since left the school.

Concerned teachers seek police help

Perhaps schools are the wrong place for these children.


Concerned teachers seek police help

4:00AM Friday Oct 03, 2008
By Martha McKenzie-Minifie
Teachers are asking for more help from police to handle students who act up in class, as they abandon a suggestion to establish “timeout rooms” in high schools for troublemakers.

A new disruptive students paper by the Post Primary Teachers Association’s Hutt Valley region showed teachers faced verbal abuse, physical attacks in class and had students turn up with weapons or high on drugs.

A survey, released at this week’s PPTA conference, found almost one in 10 teachers surveyed were frightened of students with severe behaviour problems.

Hutt Valley region executive member Martin Henry said delegates yesterday voted to pressure the Government to call a conference where teachers, police, Child Youth and Family and other groups could work directly together.

“It’s not just teachers that are going to solve this problem – there’s a whole lot of societal factors that come in as well,” said Mr Henry. “These students don’t come to schools without a whole lot of issues.”

He said the earlier suggestion to push for timeout rooms in secondary schools as a place to send problem students in the heat of the moment was yesterday withdrawn.

“They were looking at the room and it’s not the room that’s the important thing – it’s what you do with the kids,” said Mr Henry.

Members also voted to push ahead with a controversial plan for the PPTA to work to amend legislation to allow information sharing about students with a history of high-risk behavioural problems that may put members of a school at risk.

Mr Henry said teachers were frustrated to discover new students had behaviour problems they were not warned about because of privacy laws.

“It’s not about blacklisting kids or schools, it’s about doing better things for them.”

$5.5m ACC payouts for injuries to teachers

Now we have it, Schools are about “crowd control’


$5.5m ACC payouts for injuries to teachers

By JOHN HARTEVELT – The Press | Monday, 22 September 2008

Millions of dollars are being spent treating teachers hurt in the classroom.

One principal believes the payouts reflect a job more akin to crowd control than education “you don’t expect to be spat at or hit when you’re in this job that you thought was about teaching kids”.

Figures obtained by The Press detail more than $5.49m in Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) payouts to teachers in the year to June 2008.

The ACC figures show:

Teachers in the early-childhood education (ECE) sector were paid $1.54m in the year to June 2008 up from $809,281 in 2004. That figure includes $1.29m for soft-tissue injuries to teachers.Payouts to primary teachers climbed by $1m from $1.49m in 2004 to $2.48m in the year to June 2008. The cost of fractures and dislocations rose from $198,732 to $548,648.Secondary teachers bucked the trend, with payouts falling from $1.65m in 2004 to $1.48m to June 2008.Teachers in special education lodged 36 claims for being struck by a person or an animal in 2008. In 2004, there were 30 such claims costing $43,048.

The chairman of the New Zealand Foundation for Character Education, Rod Galloway, said there would be several reasons for the injuries, but assaults on teachers by students were on the rise.

Last month, The Press revealed a 37 per cent surge nationwide in disciplinary actions against primary-school students between 2000 and 2007.

Galloway, the principal of a Dunedin primary school, said the “extreme” of physical assault on primary-school teachers was now not unusual.

“I hear of it in other schools and it’s not a once-a-year occasion, it’s more frequent than that. And in some cases, they’re dealing with child after child on certain days it’s just a constant battle,” he said.

Teachers were no longer authority figures.

“You wouldn’t have expected, years ago, for teachers to be sworn at and that happens frequently,” Galloway said.

“The way to make teaching attractive for men and women is to say the job is actually teaching and not crowd control and you don’t expect to be spat at or hit when you’re in this job that you thought was about teaching kids.”

There were also mounting physical demands on teachers, causing more injuries, he said.

“There is a physical demand on teachers working with children. The modern teacher doesn’t sit at their desk that might be news to some people.”

Early Childhood Council chief executive Sue Thorne said a greater number of qualified and registered teachers would have contributed to the increase in payouts for teachers in her sector. She said ECE teachers also faced a wider range of physical demands.

“ECE teaching would be more comparable with a number of occupations in the health sector,” Thorne said.

Assaults by children on teachers also were on the rise in ECE.

“I’ve certainly heard of staff who have been left with a bruise or two from being kicked and pummelled by a cross four-and-a-half year old,” Thorne said.

“They can put a bit of weight behind it and do a bit of damage to staff.”

She said more children were coming from dysfunctional homes without good male role models.

Surveys by the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) have shown secondary school teachers are worried by student misbehaviour with more than 40% experiencing physical intimidation or assault.

A discussion paper to be presented at next week’s PPTA conference states “gangsta-style” behaviour by students has made recruiting teachers difficult at many low-decile schools.

The paper recommends higher salary incentives for teachers who choose to work in hard-to-staff schools.

By day a teacher … by night a prostitute

Another reason for Home Educating our children:


By day a teacher … by night a prostitute

4:00AM Sunday Sep 21, 2008
Rachel Grunwell

Photo / Herald on Sunday

Photo / Herald on Sunday

An Auckland primary school teacher is moonlighting as a prostitute, throwing her school bosses into a quandary over her future.

The woman, a mother of two children in her 30s, is new to teaching and moonlights as a prostitute to boost her income.

The Herald on Sunday understands her principal was alerted to the situation by a student’s parent.

It is understood the principal is now in a dilemma – prostitution is legal, but he is worried about the reaction of other parents and students if they find out about the teacher – and has referred the matter to the school’s board of trustees.

The board will meet in committee shortly to debate whether it should ignore the issue, discipline the teacher or refer the matter to the Teachers’ Council to judge.

The matter was raised at a recent Law Society seminar.

The teacher has apparently defended her situation to her principal, saying that what she did in her own time was of no concern to him, that it was a private matter, and that prostitution was now lawful and legitimate work. She told him her moonlighting job was not affecting her performance as a teacher.

She apparently told the principal he had no right to be the “moral police”.

A source said the woman was considered to be a “good teacher”.

Employment lawyer John Hannan said he had heard about the case and believed it was still unresolved.

He said schools could have policies to prevent teachers taking secondary jobs, or make sure that they first sought approval from their board.

But even if the board in this case did not have such policies, he believed it could still ask the teacher to quit prostitution and if she refused, it could threaten dismissal.

“It’s a case of whether the outside employment is regarded as incompatible with the role of a teacher in terms of role-modelling and in terms of any policies that the board of trustees might have in place,” he said.

Another employment lawyer, Patrick Walsh, who also knew of the case, said an issue like this had not been before the Teachers’ Council so there would be no precedent for boards to follow.

He said the council could end up being involved if the school deemed the teacher’s second job was “conduct that brings discredit to the profession”.

Teachers’ Council director Dr Peter Lind said the key issue was whether the teacher’s second job was having an impact on her professional teaching duties “and there would have to be actual evidence”.

He said principals and boards generally tried to resolve issues first. If problems escalated and remained unresolved then the Teachers’ Council could be notified.

Prostitutes Collective national co-ordinator Catherine Healy said she knew of several teachers who worked in second jobs as prostitutes and they had every right to do so.

“There is no incompatibility between a woman who’s a teacher and who works as a sex worker,” she said. “I can’t imagine what the problem would be.”

She said if the school board needed questions answered about the industry, or advice, members were welcome to call her.

According to the primary and intermediate teachers’ union, the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI), the pay scale for primary teachers is generally between $42,600 and $66,000. Experienced teachers who took on increased responsibility could earn more on top of their basic salary.

Two years ago, an Auckland policewoman got into trouble with her employers after it was revealed she was moonlighting as a sex-worker at a top massage parlour.

She earned up to $500 a night working in the parlour, on top of taking home at least $43,000 a year as an officer.

Police bosses said at the time the secondary employment would never have been approved because that kind of work was seen to be inappropriate and incompatible with policing.

An investigation was carried out and the woman was able to keep her job in the police.

Home schoolers swap teaching tips


Home schoolers swap teaching tips

By JOHN HARTEVELT – The Press | Monday, 28 July 2008

Parents who home school their students compared notes on a surge in their number at a gathering in Christchurch at the weekend.

Home schoolers from Christchurch and around the country met in Bishopdale for a curriculum fair and a series of workshops.

National director of the Home Education Foundation Craig Smith said about 50 people attended and visited seminars which covered topics ranging from classical education to how home education could prevent burnout.

Home schooling appealed to many parents because of the “administrative bullying” of teachers and the public education system in general.

“I hear a lot parents tell me my child’s been at school now for three years and they haven’t learned a darn thing,” Smith said.

The number of children home schooled has grown from about 5280 10 years ago to 6500 in July last year.

Home-schooled children must obtain a certificate of exemption from regular schooling.

The Ministry of Education said home-based schooling must meet the same standards as registered schools.

Kathy Duncan said her four children, aged between five and 12, mixed with a lot of other children who were home schooled.

“Certainly our children wouldn’t socialise with 30 other children the same age as them every day but they do have friends they see regularly,” Duncan said.

Home schooling was a a lifestyle choice, she said.

“It’s not just like having school at home … all of life becomes an education. It’s really hard to separate our life from the education.”

Duncan does not have any teaching qualifications but she said she had “a lot of experience”.

Home schooling is most popular on the West Coast, where 1.9 per cent of children are in home schooling.

The Canterbury Home Educators group has 230 members, representing less than 1% of students in the region.

Smith said aspects of the national assessment programme (NCEA) were “anti-intellectual” and the school curriculum needed to get back to basics and cut out political correctness.

Smith did not want any more Government funding because he feared it would take control of home schoolers.

“The ERO (Education Review Office) is sitting in judgment on the way you as a parent relate to your own child,” he said.


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