Reposted from a story by: Tanya Chilcott From: The Courier-Mail September 08, 2012 9:28AM
A PRIMARY school teacher who struck students, including a Year 3 boy who she shook by the shoulders, has escaped a registration ban.
The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) found although state school teacher Lisa Gay Carroll struck two students and pushed another causing him to fall or jump off his chair, “the evidence does not support a conclusion that she placed her students at an unacceptable risk of harm”.
The decision notes Ms Carroll, whose “employment was terminated” in October 2010 “following a series of incidents which took place whilst she was teaching Information and Communication Technology classes at a State School”, disagreed with the facts alleged by the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT), but did not provide alternative evidence.
“In respect of each of the four allegations the Tribunal is satisfied that, as a matter of fact, each of them occurred as described by the College,” the QCAT decision states.
Ms Carroll was found to have struck two boys during ICT lessons – one Year 7 student to the back of his head on or about November 20, 2008 and another Year 3 boy, who she also shook by the shoulders, on his left arm on or about September 2, 2009.
About two months later she was found to have “pushed on a Year 7 student’s chair, causing him to jump/fall off his chair” and in the following year upset and scared Year 5 students by yelling at some who weren’t shutting down their computers that “it’s not brain surgery, it’s easy peasy”.
The QCT asked that Ms Carroll be banned from reapplying for registration for at least eighteen months, warning she had not sought or been able to curb her aggressive behaviour towards young students despite being repeatedly disciplined over it and provided with training and counselling by her employer.
“The College submits that Ms Carroll is not suitable to teach as she poses an unacceptable risk of harm to children and as her conduct does not satisfy a standard of behaviour generally expected of teachers,” the QCAT decision notes.
But QCAT found she shouldn’t be prohibited from reapplying for registration “for any period”.
“We come to this view having regard to the history of Ms Carroll’s performance, including that dating back prior to 2008, and in the context of the College’s submission that, in a nutshell, Ms Carroll has not learned from her mistakes,” the decision states.
“However, we have also considered Ms Carroll’s long history of teaching, dating back over 20 years, and the fact that the evidence does not support a conclusion that she placed her students at an unacceptable risk of harm.
“The involvement of a psychologist as provided for in therapeutic conditions will act as a sufficient gatekeeper to ensure that Ms Carroll does not return to the class room unless and until she is ready to meet the requisite standard of behaviour.”
Instead, Ms Carroll will be required to submit a psychologist’s report when she does reapply, addressing her awareness of what is and isn’t appropriate communication and behaviour with students, the trust and power invested in teachers and the QCT’s code of ethics.