Convicted teachers are flouting the system

OPINION – Catherine Woulfe – Auckland Now 5 March 2012
When it came to light that a sex offender teacher has been using aliases to keep teaching, the new Education Minister, Hekia Parata, was very quick to launch an inquiry. I urge her to broaden that inquiry to examine the system itself, not just the way in which this man flouted it.

The system has knowingly let teachers with serious convictions, including sex crimes and violence, back into classrooms. It’s kept their names secret from parents and principals; and for a long time it had no way of knowing for sure where they were working.

I’ve been hammering away at this for six years. See this story. I’ve also covered the topic for the Sunday Star-Times.

In a nasty nutshell, since it was set up in 2002, the Teachers Council has registered, or decided not to de-register, teachers despite knowing that they have convictions for:

– Battery of an 11-year-old
– Importing ecstasy and supplying cannabis to minors
– Indecent assault on a student
– Threatening to kill
– Assault on a female
– Common assault
– Assault with weapons
– Possession of objectionable material
– Grievous bodily harm.

It has also okayed teachers who have admitted:

– Stealing school funds to spend on themselves
– Having sex with students
– Sexually abusing a minor