The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has suspended and censured a teacher after they harmed three children. The Tribunal decided that the teacher’s actions amounted to serious misconduct.

The teacher harmed three children on separate occasions. On the first occasion, the teacher hit a child on the top of the head with a wooden building block in order to reprimand him. The child was hit with enough force for it to make a sound and the child immediately began crying.

On the second occasion, the teacher grabbed a child by the forearm in order to pull him up from the ground. The teacher then “aggressively reprimanded” the child, which was witnessed by a parent.

On the final occasion, the teacher grabbed a child by the upper arms in order to stop her from having a tantrum. The teacher’s grip left bruises on the child’s arms.

A complaint was made against the teacher and brought to the Tribunal. The Tribunal had to determine whether the teacher’s conduct amounted to serious misconduct.

Serious misconduct is defined as conduct which adversely affects, or is likely to adversely affect, the well-being of a child, or reflects adversely on the teacher’s fitness to be a teacher, or may bring the teaching profession into disrepute. The conduct must also be of a serious nature.

The Tribunal decided that the use of physical force for corrective purposes, whether or not anger or aggression is involved, will usually amount to serious misconduct. In this case, the teacher’s conduct was serious and involved bruising on one of the children.

The Tribunal decided that the children were of a vulnerable age, and the incidents showed a level of aggression which was unacceptable in the teaching profession. The children’s well-being were likely to be affected by the teacher’s conduct.

The Tribunal suspended the teacher until she completed a training course for behaviour management and emotion control. The Tribunal also censured the teacher and ordered her to provide the Tribunal’s decision to any future employers.

It is important to be aware of your obligations as an employee. If you are confused about these obligations, it pays to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.

 

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