Union backed porn teacher

Sunday Star Times 22 July 2007
A teacher convicted of sexually molesting a nine-year-old boy had been supported by his union when he was stood down from an earlier job for looking at child porn. Derek James McCarthy – convicted last week in the Manukau District Court of molesting a child at Weymouth Primary School in Manurewa, South Auckland, in 2005 – was booted out of Mt Carmel Primary School in Meadowbank six years earlier. His actions were investigated by a school committee which recommended to the board he be dismissed. He was immediately stood down.But his union, the New Zealand Educational Institute, supported him through a series of High Court and Employment Court actions fighting the case. A lawyer connected to the union filed applications arguing that the process the board adopted was unfair and he should be reinstated. Peter Monteith, NZEI national acting secretary, said: “Members are entitled to seek legal assistance from the union if they plead not guilty.” The school used its insurance to pay its own lawyer to defend its position. After about two months – when McCarthy, 36, was on full pay – he dropped the case and left the school. The Teachers’ Council – the former Teachers’ Registration Board – investigated the 1999 incident when it was reported, but no action was taken.

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