Sunday, April 3, 2011

ZenTiger Haven't we learned?

Here's a story that should send shock waves through society, and also a lesson on the need to have principals with principles.

A teacher accused of abusing and confining preschoolers has negotiated an exit that does not let her school tell prospective employers about the allegations.

The head teacher of the school said she has been in tears after being forced to write in glowing terms about a woman whom she thinks should not be a teacher.

So, suddenly, its all right to hide child abusers when it is a State institution? Is this really about justice?

Secondly, the head teacher has been told to lie, to perjure herself and participate in a cover-up. Surely, this is where you simply say "I will not lie" and if you get fired for failing to lie, you go to the highest court in the land and lets all find out just how corrupt the government is prepared to be.

Accusations arose that the woman smacked children, pulled their hair and put them into "weird timeout situations", including being put in cupboards for up to half an hour.

Where's Bradford on this one? You'll note in the anti-smacking debate, parents were careful to fight for their right to discipline because parents generally are tightly bonded to their children. Such rights are not extended to disinterested third parties, and these incidents sound somewhat extreme.

Police formally warned the teacher but decided not to prosecute because of the difficulty in getting evidence from preschoolers. A warning letter was also sent to the wider preschool saying that the behaviour reported was unacceptable.

But the Employment Relations Authority has ordered the school to abide by the terms of the teacher's exit settlement, including giving a reference that referred to the teacher as "competent" and providing "excellent" documentation.

The Employment Relations Authority could not possibly have the right to dictate that lies are made as part of any settlement. This needs to be tested in court.

It has banned publication of her name and the school.

Eaxctly how much power do these state agencies think they have over the natural rights of the parents?

The teacher left the school and, in a mediation conference, the school's board agreed to pay $12,000 in a grievance settlement, provide a positive reference, not mention the allegations and send a letter to police stating that their "considered view" was that they had different conclusions about them.

The head teacher said she was counseled to sign off on the agreement "to get it over with". She gave a differently worded reference but the Employment Relations Authority upheld an appeal stating that she had to provide a reference following "agreed wording".

So it sounds like the school board were more concerned with the reputation of the centre, and just wanted to make the problem go away. And part of that settlement requires a principal to act without principle.

Hasn't society learned anything in the past 40 years? Or are cases of secrecy and second chances entirely permissible after all?

Teacher accused of child abuse shuffled to a new area under secrecy.

4 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

This can't be legal.

Anonymous said...

Well, as i read your link, there have been no charges laid and no conviction obtained. Are you saying someone should be denied an income on the basis of unproven allegations?

As to learing somethibng, seems the catholic Church are still the laggards in that regard.

ZenTiger said...

Rats, lost my long comment. Curses to Blogger.

A cut down response to LRO (you get off lightly)

Firstly, you are going on about old cases being prosecuted now, so my point still stands.

Secondly, the Principal knows enough about the situation to be upset at being told to LIE about a teacher baecuase she thinks this will happen again.

Third, the police are not bothering to prosecute because getting the effort is hard, that doesn't make it right.

Fourth, the parents are probably glad to just get rid of the teacher and not want to put their child through a trial process, so happy to drop the matter.

And all those things make it look just like the links you provide to incidents happening 20, 30, 40 years ago (but of a lesser nature). That is, it looks like various Priests and parents REPORTED these perverts to the main institution but didn't take it to the authorities, or did and the authorities didn't think it worth prosecuting. Maybe they went through a similar process to the above, and you are left with a priest being transferred and no real action taken and some-one just like you saying "hey - its not in court, the allegations are unproven so write the stirling reference and move on".

So, no, you haven't learned LRO.

Anonymous said...

Are you saying someone should be forced to provide an untrue document in order to aquire employment?

Sounds like fruad to me.

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