The Teacher’s Disciplinary Tribunal has censured a teacher after the teacher told the student (amongst other things) that she should not have reported her grandparents for abuse (the grandparents were subsequently convicted and sentenced to home detention).

The teacher was related to both the student and her grandparents, and this, combined with her failure to realise (until very late in the process) that her behaviour was professionally inappropriate, aggravated the situation.

The Tribunal clearly set out, once again, that cultural matters cannot override the general legal obligations of teachers to their students.  The teacher also has to comply with several conditions including training on professional boundaries and ethics, and is required to be mentored by a senior teacher.