Teacher sold laptop to fuel addiction

MICHELLE ROBINSON
Last updated 11:37 25/02/2013

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A school deputy principal who pawned a school laptop to fuel her gambling addiction has been censured by the Teachers Council.

The intermediate school teacher, who was not named in the decision, blamed her gambling addiction and grief over the death of her father for the 2008 theft.

The unidentified school did not know she had pawned off the laptop for money until two years later when she was asked to return it for IT purposes.

She then lied to her principal, saying the laptop had been stolen from her car.

She eventually admitted her actions in a letter to the council's Complaints Assessment Committee, after resigning from her position.

"It was an easy way to get money to fuel my gambling addiction and even though I knew it was wrong, the temptation was too great," she said in her letter, contained in the recently released committee decision.

"Since then, I have continued to gamble regularly. My father passed away and to cope with this, I turned to heavy gambling, losing total control again.

"I understand I have taken money away from the school and ultimately the children I teach."

She said losing her job was her "salvation", forcing her to admit to her addiction.

She was now receiving professional counselling and support from her family who were "all very disappointed in what I have done".

"I hope that I get the opportunity to continue as a teacher and to prove that I am trustworthy and reliable."

The committee ruled that teacher must inform prospective employers that she has been censured for theft from a school, and provide them with a copy of the Teachers Council decision within a month of starting a job.

She was also ordered to pay half of the school's costs accrued during the investigation and disciplinary hearing.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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