A school “vigorously opposes” the return of a teacher who hugged students, downloaded hardcore pornography and tweeted about a wet dream.
A school “vigorously opposes” the return of a teacher who hugged students, downloaded hardcore pornography and tweeted about a wet dream.

Teacher who hugged students, downloaded porn not wanted back

St Kevin's College "vigorously opposes" reinstatement of a senior teacher who hugged students, downloaded hardcore gay pornography and tweeted about a wet dream.

A Fair Work Commission hearing on Thursday summed up the case against a VCE maths and drama teacher who was terminated in February 2020.

The teacher, Simon Parris, has also admitted to calling students "big boy" and "big guy" and writing them emails saying "I miss you terribly" and "your friendship means the world to me".

Nick Harrington, barrister for St Kevin's College, said the school did not have full knowledge of Mr Parris' misconduct when it cautioned the teacher about his conduct back in 2019.

He told the hearing that new facts about Mr Parris' conduct and its effect on one of the students, known as Student A, justified his termination by acting principal John Crowley the following year.

Mr Parris was one of five teachers to leave the top Toorak private school amid a child grooming scandal in early 2020.

Mr Harrington argued that the effect of Mr Parris' continued presence at the school became known to the school after a letter from Student A's parents. The letter said their son felt uncomfortable and unsafe and hated coming back to school. Mr Harrington said this justified Mr Parris' dismissal.

The student now worked casually at the school, making reinstatement unworkable, he said.

Jamie Darams, barrister for Mr Parris, said his client agreed he had engaged in the conduct and was counselled at the time, but there was no new conduct to justify his subsequent dismissal.

"He did everything he could possibly do to comply with and change his conduct," he said.

"There is no evidence that he transgressed any further in any way."

He said Mr Parris "couldn't be more sorry or serious about" changing his behaviour.

Mr Darams questioned the notion that Student A's anxiety was solely due to Mr Parris' conduct

"There are likely to be a number of sources of the anxiety," he said.

He also said the tweet about the wet dream was "innocuous" and that "you hear worse on the six o'clock news".

No date for a decision was given.

susie.obrien@news.com.au

Originally published as Teacher who hugged students, downloaded porn not wanted back



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