Teacher may lose job over 'upskirt' video

JOELLE DALLY AND ANNE CLARKSON
Last updated 05:00 20/11/2012

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A Canterbury school says it is yet to decide whether a teacher accused of filming a video up the skirt of a young woman at a Christchurch shopping mall will lose his job.

The man, who is middle-aged, appeared in Christchurch District Court yesterday charged with making an intimate visual recording at the Westfield Riccarton mall on Saturday.

He was granted interim name suppression.

The chairman of the school's board of trustees said the matter was being treated "very seriously", but refused to say if the teacher would be suspended.

Any decisions regarding the teacher's employment would not be made until court matters were settled, he said.

Police allege the teacher behaved in an offensive manner, intentionally made an intimate visual recording of another person at the mall, and was in possession of the recording.

Police said the offending happened in the food court area on Saturday.

A recording device and the teacher's home computer had been confiscated by police for further analysis.

A worker at the mall, who did not wish to be named, said the young woman had appeared to be unaware of what was happening. The man had appeared to try to dispose of a camera when approached by mall security.

The school board's chairman said it was following the advice of a New Zealand School Trustees Association industrial adviser.

"We need to make sure we follow due process and look after all parties involved, and kids are a key part to it."

Trustees association president Lorraine Kerr said any stand-down period or suspension was "entirely up to the board".

The accused teacher said he was in contact with the school and had "absolute faith" it would follow the right process.

He declined to comment further.

The school's principal also declined to comment.

New Zealand Teachers Council director Peter Lind said the teacher or the employer had to submit a report to the teachers' council only after a conviction.

"Any issue that may pose a risk to the safety of children does really concern us [and] we would want to know about it," he said.

Westfield Riccarton mall spokes woman Deb McGee said incidents of this nature were rare.

The safety of shoppers and retailers was paramount, she said.

"If anyone is acting inappropriately [in the mall] then we will take the appropriate action, which in this case was to call the police."

The man was remanded on bail until December 6 on condition that he does not not enter the mall, does not use any internet storage facility that he owns or has access to and does not access the internet. He is also not to possess or operate any video recording device.

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