Teacher denies indecent act in classroom

A former teacher at one New Zealand's top secondary schools has pleaded not guilty to a charge of committing an indecent act in a classroom at the school.

The man, whose name is suppressed until his next appearance later this month, has elected to face trial in front of a judge-only, without a jury.

The name of the school he worked at also remains suppressed until then although the Auckland District Court heard today that the school no longer seeks suppression of its name or supports the man's suppression. He had worked there for more than a decade.

Community Magistrate Dianne Hales gave all parties time to clarify their positions on the matter and defence lawyer Richard Earwaker said he would apply for continued name suppression at the man's next court appearance.

The teacher was remanded at large, meaning he is not subject to bail conditions.

The alleged act happened in June last year and man was suspended by the school before resigning the following month.

Meanwhile, police have indicated they will withdraw a second charge of committing an indecent act laid over the alleged incident.

The NZ Teachers Council has confirmed the man has signed a voluntary undertaking not to teach, but has been suspended anyway.

"We know about the charges and our disciplinary investigation will be completed, a tribunal hearing conducted and a decision handed down after the criminal processes are completed," a council spokesman has said.

"In criminal charges of this kind we wait for the criminal process to run its course."

- Jimmy Ellingham of APNZ

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