Rotten Apple
Even teachers can turn out to be bad apples. Image: Lara604/Flickr/CC BY

Three teachers were banned from their chosen profession last week in the U.K. and in Australia. The bans were imposed for various reasons.

Deception for revenge

Victoria Jones of Wales was banned from teaching when she sent her former lover pictures of a friend’s child, saying it was his, as revenge for being dumped.

Jones deceived Daniel Barberini for two years. In that time she sent him 82 pictures of the growing girl. The child is actually the daughter of her friend, Sarah Jensen, and Jones appropriated the photos from Facebook. Jones also told Barberini that the girl had a boy twin with Down’s Syndrome who died as an infant.

In order to keep up the deception, Jones told Barberini that she had moved to Australia. But all the time she remained in the Welsh town of Newport.

The deception was discovered when a friend of Barberini’s recognized the child in the pictures and tipped off Jensen, the girl’s mother. Furious, she called the police. She was told Jones had not committed a crime and that there was nothing they could do. However, the school board received numerous complaints from outraged parents, leading to Jones’ two-year ban.

Threatened voodoo curse

Roslyn Holloway, 49, allegedly threatening to put a “voodoo curse” on a student at the Lord Silkin Trust School in Telford, Shropshire, England. Holloway called a pupil “black boy” and tore out a hank of his hair and wrapped it around a doll. She threatened to use voodoo to drown the student. It is reported that she talked about “inappropriate subjects” also called another student a “ginge,” — a slang form of “ginger,” or a red-headed person — and an “idiot.”

It was also found that Holloway refused to disclose a “caution for battery” when she was hired in 2003. A police caution is an alternative to prosecution for minor cases used in the U.K. and Hong Kong. The General Teaching Council found her behavior “short of the standards expected of a teacher” and imposed a four-year ban.

Accessing child pornography

An Australian man, whose name has not been disclosed to protect the reputation of his family, was suspended from the teaching profession for allegedly downloading child pornography. The Queensland College of Teachers alerted the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal when it learned that the man was being investigated by police on the matter. No criminal charges were made because objectionable material was not found on any of the man’s computers. However, the computer’s history showed the titles of movie files that had been recently accessed. Some of the tiles included the terms “preteen,” “12yo” and “15yo.”

The accused teacher had installed a program that, according to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, is “used by the US Department of Defense that wipes hardware seven times and then creates random data that cannot be reconstructed.”

Criminal cases require evidence that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. However, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal requires less stringent proof, leading to a three-year ban from the profession. If the man registers again to teach after that period, it will be required for him to undergo counseling before he is accepted.


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