A teacher who swore and yelled at his students when they took too long to leave his classroom said he was “free at last” when he was stripped of his teaching certificate.
The teacher admitted telling two students “Get the f*** out of here, get out of this f*****g classroom,” when they wouldn’t leave for their te reo Māori class.
A recently released Teacher’s Disciplinary Tribunal decision found he demonstrated “extremely inferior” role modelling and his teaching registration was cancelled.
The man cannot be named as it could lead to the identification of the school at which he was employed. The school was granted suppression by the tribunal.
The two students would not leave the teacher’s classroom after the bell had rung on May 20, 2019.
The teacher asked them to leave a couple of times before becoming “really mad” and yelling and swearing at the students at least five times while waving his arms around, the students said.
They reported the teacher told them “f*****g get down to Māori or I’ll get [redacted]” and/or “f*****g go down to te reo”.
The students did not respond and left the room. When spoken to about it, the students said they felt the teacher’s actions were not right.
The teacher confided in a colleague, admitting he had trouble sending some students to their next class.
The next day the teacher was placed on disciplinary leave pending a hui on May 30, after the principal became aware of what had happened. The teacher then went on sick leave and the hui was moved to June.
At the hui he resigned, remaining on sick leave until his resignation date in October.
Over the next two years, the teacher was contacted 12 times to provide a response to the investigation.
In March 2021, he emailed the investigator stating he had “paid the price” for his actions and the teaching council had stripped him of everything.
“So, what further damage do you intend to do to me and my family? Get a life and leave me and my family alone,” he wrote.
In another email, he wrote “I no longer hold a teaching certificate and I’m no longer teaching. Free at last !!!!!!”
This wasn’t the teacher’s first time facing disciplinary action for his conduct.
In May 2017, he threatened violence towards a student who was misbehaving, used verbal put-downs and yelled during a two-minute exchange, which was videoed by another student.
The teacher was ordered to complete counselling sessions, develop strategies to cope with challenging student behaviour, write a letter of apology to the student’s family and attend weekly meetings with the principal to monitor his wellbeing.
After it was discovered there was a video of the exchange, the teacher was censured, and he was instructed to tell employers of the incident and decision.
The decision about the recent incident, stated that as an authority figure and role model, the teacher’s conduct was likely to “adversely affect the emotional wellbeing of those students”.
It found the teacher demonstrated a “complete lack” of professionalism and his conduct was unjustified, calling into question his ability to cope with the stressors of being a teacher.
“There is no justification for the behaviour demonstrated by the respondent, and it exhibits extremely inferior role modelling to the rangatahi [young people] involved.”
The teacher’s registration was cancelled.
Emily Moorhouse is a Christchurch-based Open Justice journalist at NZME. She joined NZME in 2022. Before that, she was at the Christchurch Star.
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