The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has struck off a teacher who slapped her own daughter and then self-referred to Oranga Tamariki and her employer.  She was dismissed from her employment as a result of her behaviour.

The matter was referred to the Disciplinary Tribunal, but the teacher did not engage in the disciplinary process.  She stated that she had “put her side across and will just wait to see what the outcome will be”.  This proved to be a serious miscalculation.

The Tribunal found that the use of force on her own daughter, even though it was in a personal rather than a professional setting, adversely reflected on her fitness to teach.  The use of violence sent a poor signal to children, whose behaviour she will be responsible for supervising.

The Tribunal found that this was not a case where cancellation was inevitable and had the teacher satisfied the Tribunal that she was no longer a risk to children she may have been able to continue to teach.  However, because she chose not to participate in the proceedings the Tribunal had no information which addressed whether she was remorseful or had insight into her offending. 

The Tribunal therefore decided it would cancel her registration.  The outcome may well have been different had she chosen to participate as she had self-disclosed her behaviour to both the Ministry and her employer.

Alan Knowsley

Education Lawyer