© Rich Seymour

Teacher fired for sexting student

A TOOWOOMBA region teacher has been banned for three years for sexting and kissing a 15-year-old student.

The Queensland Civil Administration Tribunal (QCAT) ordered that Jeffrey Stanley Hughes, 39, be deregistered for inappropriate conduct, including sending up to 1000 text messages a month to a female student.

The tribunal heard that towards the end of 2010 Mr Hughes and the student exchanged text messages with sexualised and overly familiar content, which included plans for the two to eventually engage in sexual intercourse.

Mr Hughes described sexual fantasies in detail in some of the texts.

He also described unhappiness in his marriage and possible plans for him to leave the marital home.

On about three occasions in 2010, the student was engaged as a babysitter by Mr Hughes and his wife.

Mr Hughes and the student kissed three times early this year.

One instance occurred at a shopping centre, and two in a school room at lunchtime. On the second of the occasions at the school, Mr Hughes also rubbed the student's body including on the thighs and back.

Two student witnesses who were friends of the girl reported messages they had viewed to a senior member of staff.

Mr Hughes accepted the facts, but he pointed out that he was asked by the school to counsel the student regarding some issues that had arisen in her family, because he had some personal experience dealing with similar issues.

He did raise with the deputy principal and the school counsellor that he thought the student was becoming too attached to him, prior to them both attending a school trip in mid-2010.

"Having regard to all of the circumstances of Mr Hughes' matter, the tribunal considers that the behaviour warrants cancellation of Mr Hughes' registration and prohibition on reapplication for three years from the date of the suspension of his teacher registration, namely 17 February 2011," the decision read.

"We do not consider an order for therapeutic counselling is appropriate, given that Mr Hughes is already voluntarily undertaking counselling.

"However, an order is made for a report of a psychologist addressing relevant matters to accompany any application for re-registration."

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