Teacher sent to anger management
A teacher who hit pupils with a ruler and dragged them across the classroom has been sent to an anger-management course.
Teachers Council chairman Kenneth Johnston said the teacher, whose name is suppressed, had just missed being struck off the teachers' register "by a fairly fine margin".
She received six complaints from parents between 2005 to 2011, all about inappropriate disciplining of the "very young" children in her classes.
❏ Pulling a child's ears.
❏ Slapping a pupil's head.
❏ Pinching a child.
❏ Dragging a pupil up from the floor.
❏ Pulling a child roughly across a classroom.
❏ Restraining a child by grabbing their hands.
❏ Hitting a child on the head with a ruler.
The school principal started a disciplinary process but the teacher resigned before it could take place.
The school then re-employed her as a relief teacher, but she went on to get another complaint for manhandling a child to the ground.
The principal understood the teacher had had domestic problems and considered she was "a gentle soul".
"I understand that more recently she moved out of the home she shared with her husband and she appears more relaxed and calm. Things seem now to be under control."
The principal said the school was willing to support her, "which it might not so readily have been willing to do with teachers of a different character who had accumulated [her] unfortunate list of reported incidents".
The council felt there was "cause for suspicion of a sustained pattern of behaviour", but found that the evidence to prove it "unfortunately thin".
The teacher was formally censured and sent to anger-management and classroom-management courses.