Queensland teacher deregistered after having sex with daughter’s friend
Their interactions became intimate just months after she graduated at the end of 2015, and it was alleged they kissed and had sex at the teacher’s house in February or March 2016.
Later, while the former student was at university in another town, the teacher allegedly visited her several times and they had sex.
The tribunal heard he asked the former student to marry him in September 2016 and they went on holiday together in January 2017.
When the former student tried to end the relationship, the teacher allegedly tried to call her 17 times on Valentine’s Day 2017 and the day before, and left recorded messages in which he screamed “for her to believe him and not leave him”.
It’s alleged he drove to the former student’s grandparents’ house and left gifts at the letterbox, threatened to kill himself and sent her several messages on Facebook, including: “Why would I risk my hob (sic) and career fir (sic) you if I was banging anything else on the side” and “You ruined my f—ing life. Gave me the promise of something amazing and took it away in the worst possible way.”
The former student’s mother became aware of the relationship in late 2016 or early 2017 and confronted her daughter about it, before telling the school’s counsellor.
The teacher informed the principal about the sexual relationship in mid-January 2017 shortly before a pre-arranged meeting between the principal and the mother was held.
The teacher quit in January 2017 and the principal referred the matter to the Queensland College of Teachers for investigation, before it was referred to QCAT.
The college suspended the man’s registration in 2017.
The teacher maintained the relationship was “within the standards of behaviour expected of a teacher” while the teenager was a student but changed after she graduated when he argued he was no longer bound by the standards.
He said the student would often attempt to engage him in personal conversations while staying up late with him watching movies when she visited her best friend while she was still at school.
“He states he elected that it would be inappropriate for him to have such conversations with a student and would keep conversation light and simple,” the judgment read.
“He says he had no interest in (the student) in a romantic or sexual way at this time.
“(The teacher) said later in his statement that (she) manipulated him with stories of an unhappy home life, drawing sympathy and empathy.”
The teacher said he was ashamed of his behaviour on February 13 and 14, 2017 but he had lost his job, his career was on the line and the person he loved was accusing him of being unfaithful.
He was remorseful about the relationship and said his children had been bullied and no longer spoke to him, adding that he had struggled to get work during his suspension.
The college alleged the teacher was “manipulative and controlling” of the student and for more than six months they had a relationship while the teacher was in an open relationship with another woman.
The tribunal found the relationship began while the young woman was still a student and visited her best friend’s house.
“The relationship progressed to a sexual relationship as a result of the removal of boundaries which (the teacher) knew were required with him being in a teacher-student relationship as soon as (the student) finished school,” the judgment read.
“(The teacher) has behaved in a way that does not satisfy the standard of behaviour generally expected of a teacher and the ground for disciplinary action has been established.
“He should not have put himself in a position where he was able to develop feelings for (the student) by not staying up with her alone.”
The teacher’s registration was cancelled and he was banned from applying for registration or permission to teach for five years.
If he seeks registration in the future, he must provide a psychologist’s report which meets certain conditions.
He was ordered to pay costs of $1721 to the college.
Felicity Caldwell is state political reporter at the Brisbane Times