Teacher wagged school for sex with ex-student

A QUEENSLAND teacher has been barred for eight years after an investigation uncovered sordid details of an affair he had with a student. 

The married teacher, now 36-years-of-age, began a sexual relationship with the female student when she was in year 12. 

An investigation by the Queensland College of Teachers uncovered emails between the pair. 

In a judgment published today Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal member Paul Kanowski said investigators accumulated a large body of evidence including phone records, emails, text messages and Facebook messages.

The judgment stated the relationship between the pair started with email communications from their school accounts. 

"The communication was not explicitly sexual but it involved some crude banter of the type often seen between teenagers," Member Kanowski wrote. 

However when the student turned 18 in 2015 the relationship escalated and the teacher sent her his phone number - in a coded form. 

"The teacher and the student went on to exchange a very large number of phone calls and text messages, many of them sexually explicit," the judgment read.  

"They met for intercourse or other sexual activities on at least five occasions before the student graduated.

"Some of the sexual encounters occurred at school during school hours, others in a park, and others at the teacher's home. At the end of the school year the teacher left an envelope at the school office for the student.

"He told staff it contained a reference but in fact it contained $200 for the student to spend at schoolies' week."

Later, after the student had left the school the teacher absented himself and collected the student before taking her to his marital home for sex. 

The judgment also noted the teacher's substantial efforts to conceal the relationship both from his employers and his wife. 

These included hiding the student's number in his phone under a false name and getting a colleague to lie to his wife and say they went to a movie together. 

"He told the other teacher that he needed an alibi because he was actually planning a surprise birthday party for his wife," the judgment noted.

The relationship eventually became widely known when the student told her friends at schoolies, however, both the student and the teacher initially denied it to investigators. 

However, the teacher resigned in April 2016 when confronted with overwhelming evidence. 

The Teacher's College claimed that the conduct was made worse by the fact that his wife taught at the same school and claimed he'd distracted the student from her schoolwork during the final year of her studies. 

Neither of these points were seen to have basis, by QCAT. 

The teacher was ordered to pay $5,000 to cover the Teacher's Colleges legal costs but the expenses of the investigation will be paid by the authority. 

He will be eligible to apply for registration again in 2023 after undergoing retraining. 

QCAT suppressed the identities of all those involved. 


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