The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has censured a teacher after he arrived at school, and held class, while intoxicated.

The teacher went home for lunch and returned to school for afternoon lessons, being seen on the surveillance cameras “staggering” to class.

When he arrived at class, students noticed he was slurring and acting in an uncharacteristic manner. The teacher put a video on for the class, and appeared to fall asleep.

During the investigation, the teacher admitted to having consumed alcohol at home during lunch with a family member, before driving back to school.

The Tribunal held that the teacher’s actions amounted to serious misconduct. Being under the influence of alcohol while responsible for the care and welfare of students is explicitly recorded as a ground of serious misconduct.

It explained that it is a fundamental obligation of teachers to ensure that while responsible for a group of learners, they are in a fit state to properly discharge their responsibilities.

The Tribunal censured the teacher, ordered the register to be annotated for two years, and ordered that the teacher provide any future employers with a copy of the decision for the next two years.

It is important that teachers seriously consider the consequences of consuming alcohol if they will be carrying out any work-related tasks in the near future. In this case the teacher could have avoided the entire incident if they had waited until after work to consume alcohol with their family member.

If there are concerns that a teacher is consuming alcohol and continuing to teach students, or carry out any other school-related work, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

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