The Herald reports:
Act leader David Seymour has slammed comments made by an education union president – saying teacher stress has nothing to do with serious offending against children.
But Angela Roberts, president of the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA), says Seymour has misconstrued her comments – and probably done so deliberately.
Seymour today called on teachers to demand the resignation of Roberts, over comments made to Newshub on Friday.
“Inappropriate conduct can severely damage a child for life,” he said.
“Over the past three years 75 teachers have been investigated and 54 struck off, but the PPTA show no remorse, simply citing ‘stress’ and ‘bad decisions.'”
Roberts was quoted by Newshub for a story on the number of teachers censured and deregistered in the past three years, including for sexual misconduct, assault and sex abuse.
The report quoted Roberts as saying it was important for the Education Council to monitor the statistics for any trends.
“They may find that there is an increased trend of teachers who are suffering from significant stress, and some really poor decisions get made,” she told Newshub. …
Roberts told the Herald that Seymour had misconstrued those comments, perhaps deliberately.
They were made as part of a longer interview, and were about the wider issue of dealing with both disciplinary and competency matters, Roberts said.
“If what I had said was, teachers are under stress and they make poor decisions – if I had been referring to cases of serious misconduct, then, yes, that would be dismissive and inappropriate.
“But that wasn’t what I was referring to. I was talking about all cases of deregistration – there is a huge range. There is conduct, but there’s also competence. And I was talking about all cases referred to the council.
Maybe the full transcript of the interview could be released so we can ascertain whether or not the comments were around all deregistrations or misconduct.