Dozens of teachers expelled for sex, drugs with students

A teacher provided a female student exam answers in exchange for sex and another sent a pupil 40,000 inappropriate texts and social media messages in shocking examples of teachers who were banned from classrooms in 2020.

Seven Queensland teachers have been struck off - some never to teach again - and another 33 were suspended last year because of bad behaviour, including sex with students.

Some have also been charged with criminal offences including at least two facing charges of indecent treatment of children.

Meanwhile, 51 teachers remain suspended, including 15 who are yet to face disciplinary proceedings.

In February, a geography teacher in his 30s, who had a sexual relationship with a Year 12 student after a long-term relationship with an ex-student, had his registration cancelled indefinitely.

The teacher emailed the Year 12 student answers to an exam, with the comment "love ya'', hand-wrote answers on an exam paper and completed a substantial part of her English presentation.

After they began having sex in 2017, they travelled hundreds of kilometres away together and they also lived together after she left school, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.

The teacher had earlier had a three-year sexual relationship with one of his former students.

51 teachers were suspended in 2020.
51 teachers were suspended in 2020.

Meanwhile, a married high school teacher and sports coach also had a sexual relationship with a Year 12 student, with the pair exchanging more than 44,000 inappropriate or sexually explicit messages.

The teacher also sent the girl inappropriate photos and had sexualised photos of her.

The sexual relationship lasted 10 months, spanning 2017 and 2018, before and after the student left school, until the teacher's wife became aware of it, the tribunal heard.

In April, the teacher was barred from registering or applying for permission to teach for five years, from February this year.

Another high school teacher, who met a 15-year-old student while he was teaching martial arts, began a sexual relationship with her on or just after her 16th birthday.

The teacher, who had sex with the girl up to seven times at his home in 2018, was charged with procuring a young person for carnal knowledge but was later discharged.

The teacher, who had exchanged more than 15,000 Facebook and text messages with the girl, claimed he thought it was "OK" to have sex with her when she reached the legal age of consent.

The teacher had also known the girl had been sexually assaulted by an older male and had been cutting herself.

In March he had his registration cancelled and was barred from reapplying for registration or permission to teach for five years, from August 2018, when he was suspended.

Seven teachers were struck off, never to teach again. Picture: iStock
Seven teachers were struck off, never to teach again. Picture: iStock

In another shocking case, a married teacher had sex with a Year 12 student on school days at her home, while her parents were at work, in cars and in sand dunes.

The teacher had begun flirting with the girl at a school camp in 2007 and, in the following year, kissed her one night on a beach.

The 11-month sexual relationship, which was not discovered until eight years later, led to the teacher being suspended in 2017.

He is prohibited from reapplying for registration or permission to teach until September, 2022.

Another teacher encouraged a young student to lose her virginity with him, a tribunal heard in April.

The teacher, then 22, kissed the Year 11 student at her home and in his car, shared naked "selfies'' with her and told her, "I hope you are ready to lose your virginity".

The pair shared more than 90 inappropriate messages per day during the month-long relationship in 2017. In one message the high school relief teacher said: "You better be in undies at the front door Wednesday."

After two months of sharing texts and photos, the relationship was discovered by the girl's father.

In May, the teacher's one-year ban on teaching was backdated to July, 2018, but before he could reapply for registration he had to provide a detailed psychological report.

Queensland Teachers’ Union president Kevin Bates. Picture: QTU
Queensland Teachers’ Union president Kevin Bates. Picture: QTU

Queensland Teachers' Union president Kevin Bates said the Queensland College of Teachers was playing a critical role in maintaining the high standards of the teaching profession.

"There is no place for people who don't understand professional boundaries and who have inappropriate relationships with students, in any circumstances,'' Mr Bates said.

He said it was incredibly important for the profession and the public to have confidence in teachers and to know that those who did the wrong thing had to answer for it.

The inappropriate behaviour of teachers was not limited to sexual advances, with one teacher allegedly offering a teenager drugs.

The male teacher offered to supply drugs to a female student who was under the age of 16, the Queensland College of Teachers claims.

The teacher has denied the allegations, including that he advised the student via social media about where she could obtain drugs and alcohol and suggested that they consume drugs together.

The male teacher insisted he had deflected the girl's requests to"party'' and buy alcohol for her by saying "not now but maybe in the future".

 

One teacher exchanged answers to exams for sex.
One teacher exchanged answers to exams for sex.

Another male teacher whose suspension has been continued allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a female student before starting a sexual relationship with her immediately after she finished Year 12.

The teacher has strenuously denied any sexual intercourse or sexualised contact, but said he had been naive and had shown poor judgment under extreme pressure.

A teacher who admitted he sent sexually explicit text messages to a female student with mental health issues, telling her he wanted to be sexually intimate with her, is also on continued suspension.

He had given the student his mobile phone number, encouraging her to contact him about anything, including her mental health issues.

"Children are at the centre of everything that teachers do and there is no place in the profession for anyone whose behaviour presents a risk to the safety or wellbeing of a child," a Queensland College of Teachers spokeswoman said.

Hetty Johnson from Bravehearts. Picture: Jono Searle
Hetty Johnson from Bravehearts. Picture: Jono Searle

Hetty Johnson, who founded the child protection organisation Bravehearts, said the growing "normalisation" of different sexual relationships and a lack of protection for children were two big factors in the growing struggle of sexual grooming that was harming Queensland children.

"Most teachers are amazingly incredible people who devote themselves to the wellbeing of children - but like any profession, you'll always have those who are there for the wrong reasons," she said.

"Watching the normalisation and the cultural shift around sexual interactions between people, particularly between adults and children, it's becoming prolific. There's a lot we can do to make sure this doesn't keep happening - educate our kids on proper relationships and inform adults on what to look for and how to respond in those circumstances."

The Queensland College of Teachers said that, out of 110,000 registered teachers, each year fewer than 0.05 per cent had their registration suspended, cancelled, were excluded or prohibited from teaching because their behaviour was below the standard expected of a teacher.

"The overwhelming majority of Queensland teachers have a high respect for and maintain professional boundaries,'' the spokeswoman said.

SHOCKING STATISTICS

46 teachers had their registrations suspended, cancelled or were excluded or prohibited from reapplying to teach

7 teachers had registrations cancelled

33 teachers suspended

51 teachers remain suspended

15 teachers are yet to face disciplinary action

Originally published as Dozens of teachers expelled for sex, drugs with students



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