Teacher faces deregistration after ‘sending 1650 messages to student’

Sep 13, 2018 by

By Henrietta Cook –

A Melbourne teacher accused of sending 1650 Facebook messages to a student, including an article about chronic masturbation and an image of elves making sex toys, is facing deregistration.

The man developed an “unhealthy attachment” to a 16-year-old boy while working at a state high school in 2015 and 2016, a teachers’ watchdog hearing was told on Thursday.

A Melbourne teacher has been accused of serious misconduct after developing an "unhealthy attachment" to a student
A Melbourne teacher has been accused of serious misconduct after developing an “unhealthy attachment” to a student

Photo: Supplied

He  failed to appear at the disciplinary hearing at the Victorian Institute of Teaching headquarters.

The teacher, whom The Age is calling Mr S. for legal reasons, allegedly took the student out for lunch in Carlton and disclosed he had been sexually abused as a child.

He also gave the student a “soulmate necklace” and called the boy his best friend, pal and “muscles”, the hearing was told.

During the hearing, three panel members from the institute sifted through a large folder containing copies of hundreds of Facebook messages the teacher allegedly sent the boy between October 2015 and December 2016, sometimes up to 25 times a day.

Counsel assisting, Jeeviya Mather, said the messages were sexually suggestive, explicit and contained profanities.

They included a homemade Christmas card that replaced Santa’s sack of presents with testicles, a vacuum cleaner shaped like an erect penis and an article about chronic masturbation.

“I read this and thought of you LOL,” the teacher allegedly wrote to the boy.

On the student’s 17th birthday, Mr S. had showered him with gifts, including a drone, and took him out for dinner and to a bar, where they played pool.

He allegedly tried to take the boy to Crown casino, but the pair were rejected because the boy was underage.

Mr S. also allegedly told the student he “was the most important person in the world to him, except for his mother”.

The hearing was told that the teacher had an unhealthy attachment to the boy, had developed romantic feelings towards him and emotionally manipulated him.

Ms Mather said Mr S. had “seriously deviated” from the standards expected of teachers, failed to maintain a professional relationship with the student and engaged in serious misconduct.

Counsel assisting is recommending that the Institute of Teaching cancel Mr S.’s teaching registration for five years. His registration is currently suspended.

The name of the school Mr S. worked at has been suppressed.

Mr S. also gave the student driving lessons, and on one occasion, directed him to his house and asked him to pull over. He took the student inside his house and introduced him to his mother.

One time, as they were driving in the teacher’s car, he allegedly said to the student: “I would never make a move on you unless you wanted me to.”

Mr S. referred to his penis as “champ” and told the boy he had a tattoo of a cartoon cat next to it, the panel heard.

When the boy was sick, the teacher turned up at his house uninvited. The boy’s mother observed that the teacher tended to her son as if he were a partner.

The hearing was told that Mr S. ignored the student’s requests for him to back off.

In one message, the student told him he didn’t trust him or feel comfortable around him.

The matter has been adjourned until October, and Mr S. has been given two weeks to respond to the submissions.

Source: Teacher faces deregistration after ‘sending 1650 messages to student’

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