The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has found a very experienced principal guilty of serious misconduct for failing to report possible child abuse by a teacher to the Police and Education Council. The Principal became aware of allegations from several students of inappropriate touching by a teacher of students. The matter was reported to the Board of Trustees and the Board has the statutory obligation to report matters to the Education Council. Despite the Principal not having any statutory duty to report the potential offending the Disciplinary Tribunal found him guilty of serious misconduct for failing to report.

The Tribunal held that once he was aware of the risk the teacher posed to students he had a duty to report to the authorities and in doing so initiate an inquiry into whether the teacher was guilty of sexual abuse of children in the past and whether the abuse was ongoing. A failure to report was held to be serious misconduct even though the obligation in the Act to report lies with the school Board not the Principal. Reporting by the Principal to the Board was held to be insufficient. The Board in this case did not report the matter to the Education Council. As this was a test case on this obligation the Tribunal decided that a censure was a sufficient penalty in this instance. That does not mean that a similar penalty will be imposed in the future.