The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has found a teacher guilty of serious misconduct for slapping a student on the face and for pushing another student.

The slapping incident occurred when the teacher was trying to deal with three students sent to her by another teacher for disruptive behaviour.  One of the students laughed at her while she was remonstrating with them and she slapped him on the face.  The second incident occurred during a dance lesson when a student showed reluctance to choose a partner for the dance.  The teacher put her hand on his shoulder and propelled him towards the female students. 

The Tribunal found that the pushing incident on its own would have been at the lower end of the scale, but when combined with the slapping incident, both amounted to serious misconduct.

The teacher was censured and ordered to undertake professional development.  At the time of the incidents she had been under stress, both in her teaching position and due to a family illness, and had previously had a long and distinguished unblemished career.  As a result of those facts the Tribunal decided that there was no need to suspend or strike off the teacher.

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Alan Knowsley
Education Lawyer
Wellington


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