Teacher sanctioned for stealing toys from Lower Hutt kindergarten

The teacher said, because he didn't have much money, he took the toys home for his son to play with.
The teacher said, because he didn't have much money, he took the toys home for his son to play with. Photo credit: Getty

A teacher has been found guilty of serious misconduct for stealing toys from a kindergarten in Lower Hutt.

Grant Swinton-Robertson took home three boxes of toys, over a period of several months in 2016, for his children to use.

Staff at Epuni Kindergarten spotted the missing toys in photos on Mr Swinton-Robertson's Facebook page, but he denied knowing about the missing items when confronted by a colleague.

Eventually, he admitted having them at his house and returned them to the childcare centre.

While the centre said his actions constitute theft, Mr Swinton-Robertson maintains that he was "borrowing" the toys.

He said, because he didn't have much money, he took the toys home for his son to play with.

The NZ Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal found him guilty of serious misconduct in a decision published this week.

The tribunal found that, by taking the toys, Mr Swinton-Robertson had behaved in a dishonest and untrustworthy way, and had deprived the children at the kindergarten from using the equipment.

Mr Swinton-Robertson resigned from his position at Epuni Kindergarten, after a disciplinary meeting in August 2016.

He has not been suspended from teaching and will keep his registration, but the serious misconduct finding will appear on his register for two years.

He must also pay 40 percent of the costs of the tribunal hearing process.

Newshub.