The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has censured a teacher after she grabbed a four year old student by the arm in an attempt to stop him from acting out.

The incident was witnessed by a parent, as well as another teacher at the school. The act was said to be forceful, and caused the child to stumble.

In determining whether the teacher should be censured, the Tribunal had to firstly decide whether the actions of the teacher constituted serious misconduct.

The Tribunal looked firstly at whether the conduct adversely affected the wellbeing or learning of the student. It was decided that the child did not suffer any effects to their wellbeing or learning as a result of the conduct.

The Tribunal held however that the conduct reflected adversely on the teacher’s fitness to perform her role as loss of self-control in this way reflects poorly on the teacher’s abilities to successfully complete her duties.

Finally, the Tribunal had to consider whether the conduct may bring the teaching profession into disrepute. This test asks whether a reasonable member of the public would conclude that the reputation of the profession could be lowered by the respondent’s actions. It was decided that this was not made out in this scenario as the incident was relatively brief, and the teacher immediately showed remorse.

The conduct was therefore decided to be serious misconduct based on the adverse reflection on the teacher’s abilities to complete her duties.

The Tribunal stated that the teacher’s registration should not be cancelled, as other than this one incident, she had a great track record and was well respected in her field.

The teacher was censured, and ordered to pay 40% of the costs incurred in the process of the investigation.

If there is confusion around what is expected from employees when operating in the work place, it is wise to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.


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