The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has censured a teacher after an argument with his son at home.

The teacher had been trying to address behavioral issues his son had been having. During this particular argument his son had approached him in an aggressive manner. This resulted in the teacher “clipping” him around the ear.

In their assessment of the teacher’s conduct, the Tribunal had to determine whether the actions, regardless of when or where they took place, reflected adversely on his fitness to be a teacher.

In their finding of serious misconduct, the Tribunal made it clear that the legislation governing the conduct and fitness of individuals to be teachers applied further than the school boundaries, including into the family home.

However, given the nature of the incident, and angry father and a child who had been seriously misbehaving, the Tribunal remarked this case was on the boundary between misconduct and serious misconduct.

Although the teacher has since stopped teaching and left the country, this case serves as an important reminder for education professionals that conduct in their private lives potentially reflects on their fitness to teach. Failure to maintain good character at home may result in professional disciplinary action.

If you find your actions under scrutiny by your employer, it is prudent to consult an experienced lawyer regarding your situation.

Alan Knowsley
Education Lawyer