File picture: The teacher has been barred from teaching for seven years.
File picture: The teacher has been barred from teaching for seven years.

Teacher had sex with student in classroom

A MALE teacher who had sex with a female student, 16, in a classroom and sought out sexual encounters with many students will be barred from teaching for at least seven years.

A tribunal accepted a student's evidence that the teacher, then in his 30s, had sex with her in a toilet block, in her bedroom and a classroom after school, when she was in Years 11 and 12.

The married teacher told the student, then 16, she should not tell anyone about their liaisons because he could get locked up, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.

The teacher, a department head, denied having sex with the student and denied other alleged inappropriate behaviour, apart from him swearing, in submissions for his disciplinary hearing.

He challenged the girl's evidence of the sexual encounters, saying when she was asked by investigators she could not recall any distinguishing features about his body.

He said if she had seen him naked she would have commented on him being circumcised and having his entire body shaven. The tribunal did not accept that.

The teacher was disciplined over "brazen'' conduct between 2012 and 2016 at a Queensland school, when he was aged 32 to 36. He has been suspended since 2016.

File picture: The teacher has been barred from teaching for seven years.
File picture: The teacher has been barred from teaching for seven years.

His misbehaviour occurred over a number of years, in the classroom, on school premises, at a school camp, on social media and in private meetings with one student, the tribunal found.

"We are satisfied that the students' versions of events paint a strong and convincing picture of misconduct on the part of (the teacher),'' the tribunal said in a decision this month.

"The picture is of a teacher persistently ignoring professional boundaries, acting inappropriately and placing students at great risk of harm.''

During a school camp in 2013 the teacher touched another student's thigh, waist and bottom and kissed her hand, while they were in a darkened maze, in a simulated cave.

During a rock-climbing and abseiling activity, the teacher touched the same Year 11 student's bottom and complimented her on how she looked in the pants she was wearing.

He later told her he would never cheat on his wife, the tribunal heard.

At another Year 11 camp, he touched two students and told a group of students that he wanted to attend a party with them and get high.

While two girls were walking together he said "nice arse'', but later claimed that he had said "go to class''.

After the girl he later had sex with told the teacher his conduct at the camp had caused a lot of students to feel really uncomfortable, he suggested they catch up during school holidays.

They exchanged phone numbers and communicated by WhatsApp and texts, before they had sexual intercourse, in a cycling track toilet block.

The teacher also had sex with the girl in her home bedroom, while her family were out, and in the classroom, after school.

The teacher told another student that it was a shame that she had a boyfriend as he had been "waiting out for her'' and referred to other female students as "chick'' and "babe''.

The tribunal said the teacher's conduct became so pervasive and predatory and so dismissive of professional boundaries that it was questionable that he could ever truly reform.

"The students have given evidence of the distress his behaviour caused, including the pressure which the female students felt from male students not to report his behaviour,'' the tribunal said.

The tribunal heard the teacher had moved interstate and was working very hard to re-establish himself for the benefit of his young family.

He is prohibited from reapplying for registration or permission to teach until April, 2026 - 10 years from the date of his suspension.

Before he can teach again he has to provide a psychological report to Queensland College of Teachers proving he understands professional boundaries.

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