Teacher loses job over sex claims
Thursday 20 Sep 2012 1:32 p.m.
A teacher who says he was wrongly sacked after two overseas students staying with him accused him of sexual advances has lost a bid to get his job back ahead of an employment hearing.
The teacher, who was the school's director of international students, was sacked in June this year, a year after being suspended over the allegations.
Two of the three female international students he and his wife were hosting alleged "improper conduct of a sexual nature", in May 2011, and he was suspended the following month so he could be investigated.
The school says it subsequently found pornography downloaded on a school laptop which the teacher used, and there was also an issue over expenses incurred while he was overseas.
A hearing into the sacking will be held in November but the teacher wanted his job back in the meantime, saying he had an arguable case that he was unjustifiably dismissed and that he would be reinstated if he was successful.
The teacher denied improper sexual conduct, saying the allegations weren't supported by other witnesses he said were present when the alleged incidents occurred.
He also denied downloading the pornography, but also argued the school had no IT policy in relation to downloading pornography on laptops the teachers were allowed to use for personal purposes.
In addition, he said text messages obtained under the Official Information Act breached his privacy and had been taken out of context.
But Employment Relations Authority member Eleanor Robinson said the texts and his activity outside the school were relevant.
She said he had an arguable case he would be reinstated if his sacking was unjustified, but she couldn't conclude it was strongly arguable.
The names of the teacher, the complainants and the school - the only high school in the town - have been suppressed.