Teacher punched pupils, called them 'ugly'

A science teacher who punched and kicked students, and called them "ugly" and "dumb" has lost his teaching licence.

The teacher, whose name was suppressed, was also censured by the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal and ordered to pay 50 per cent of the investigation and prosecution costs.

He was employed as a Year 9 assistant science and chemistry teacher during 2011 and 2012.

During those school years, the tribunal said he used abusive language when speaking to the students.

He also "engaged in inappropriate conduct amounting to psychological and verbal abuse of students by ridiculing, bullying and harassing students", the report said.

That included calling some of the pupils "fat", "ugly", "dumb" and "cowards".

The teacher also physically assaulted some students, including punching, kicking and lifting some off their feet and yelling about their conduct "close to their faces", the report said.

He engaged in fights with male students before or after class, and also encouraged the pupils to fight and/or wrestle each other, by setting up a ring in the classroom and shouting "Fight!, Fight!, Fight!".

Other inappropriate behaviour included showing the students tobacco, cigars and a marijuana pipe.

He attempted to intimidate students into not making complaints about his behaviour by telling students that he knew where they lived.

"[He] did this in a manner which he knew would make students feel uncomfortable, scared and threatened," the report said.

The teacher agreed his conduct amounted to serious misconduct.

- By Rebecca Quilliam of APNZ

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