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Thread: Teachers fear new rules' intrusion on private life

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    Default Teachers fear new rules' intrusion on private life

    Teachers fear new rules' intrusion on private life
    By JOHN HARTEVELT - The Press | Tuesday, 29 July 2008

    Teachers fear their private lives, including online profiles and even going to parties, could become targets under an extension to the profession's disciplinary code.

    Both the Post-Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) and the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) made submissions against the change when it was proposed in March.

    However, it will take effect this Friday.

    The new clause in the Teachers Council code brings censure for "any conduct that brings or is likely to bring discredit to the profession".

    PPTA president Robin Duff said the latest extension was especially worrying for young teachers.

    "There are things that can happen that are not within the teacher's control and yet might well lead to concerns," Duff said.

    The association had asked the council to specify what behaviour would bring the profession into disrepute.

    However, the council said that would be decided as cases came to light.

    "Very often that is a decision that can be made based on someone's background," Duff said.

    "There are interest groups around who are always concerned about 'cleaning up' the teaching profession ... often they have a very strong religious background to them there may well be active attempts by groups to identify individuals."

    Duff said many teachers had online profiles, which could easily get them in to trouble.

    "If you are unfortunate enough to say 'I love getting trashed every weekend and I have sex every moment of the day that I can with whoever I can find' that might be a hell of a joke socially among your friends ... but once it's captured on those sites it does have the potential to stick with you."

    Duff said he had spoken with a young teacher in his first year at a Christchurch school who had students asking to become his online friend.

    "That starts to stretch boundaries that have, in themselves, some considerable danger," Duff said.

    NZEI president Frances Nelson said no-one yet knew whether the rule extension would be unfair or not.

    "We'll be watching all of the cases that come through."

    The new clause was an attempt to close loopholes in the council's existing processes.

    "When you start to close those loopholes you potentially pull people closer that don't need to be there," Nelson said.

    In its submission, NZEI said teaching was already the single most intensely regulated profession in the country.

    "NZEI strongly believes that teachers must have some rights to a private life."

    New Zealand Principals' Federation president Paddy Ford said he supported the change but would monitor its use.

    "My only concern is it's a bit of a double-edged sword because they don't define what improper conduct is but then, nobody does," he said.

    The clause was necessary so action could be taken against wayward teachers, Ford said.

    The Teachers Council covers about 90,000 registered teachers. Since 2002 it has ruled on about 240 complaints against teachers.

    Council director Peter Lind said the latest rule change was not brought about by any one single case.

    "Clearly, one of the issues for teachers is where does my personal life begin and where does my professional life end. And in a job such as teaching, that does become sometimes a little blurred."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MotherBear View Post
    Teachers fear new rules' intrusion on private life
    By JOHN HARTEVELT - The Press | Tuesday, 29 July 2008

    Teachers fear their private lives, including online profiles and even going to parties, could become targets under an extension to the profession's disciplinary code.

    Both the Post-Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) and the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) made submissions against the change when it was proposed in March.

    However, it will take effect this Friday.

    The new clause in the Teachers Council code brings censure for "any conduct that brings or is likely to bring discredit to the profession".

    PPTA president Robin Duff said the latest extension was especially worrying for young teachers.

    "There are things that can happen that are not within the teacher's control and yet might well lead to concerns," Duff said.

    The association had asked the council to specify what behaviour would bring the profession into disrepute.

    However, the council said that would be decided as cases came to light.

    "Very often that is a decision that can be made based on someone's background," Duff said.

    "There are interest groups around who are always concerned about 'cleaning up' the teaching profession ... often they have a very strong religious background to them there may well be active attempts by groups to identify individuals."

    Duff said many teachers had online profiles, which could easily get them in to trouble.

    "If you are unfortunate enough to say 'I love getting trashed every weekend and I have sex every moment of the day that I can with whoever I can find' that might be a hell of a joke socially among your friends ... but once it's captured on those sites it does have the potential to stick with you."

    Duff said he had spoken with a young teacher in his first year at a Christchurch school who had students asking to become his online friend.

    "That starts to stretch boundaries that have, in themselves, some considerable danger," Duff said.

    NZEI president Frances Nelson said no-one yet knew whether the rule extension would be unfair or not.

    "We'll be watching all of the cases that come through."

    The new clause was an attempt to close loopholes in the council's existing processes.

    "When you start to close those loopholes you potentially pull people closer that don't need to be there," Nelson said.

    In its submission, NZEI said teaching was already the single most intensely regulated profession in the country.

    "NZEI strongly believes that teachers must have some rights to a private life."

    New Zealand Principals' Federation president Paddy Ford said he supported the change but would monitor its use.

    "My only concern is it's a bit of a double-edged sword because they don't define what improper conduct is but then, nobody does," he said.

    The clause was necessary so action could be taken against wayward teachers, Ford said.

    The Teachers Council covers about 90,000 registered teachers. Since 2002 it has ruled on about 240 complaints against teachers.

    Council director Peter Lind said the latest rule change was not brought about by any one single case.

    "Clearly, one of the issues for teachers is where does my personal life begin and where does my professional life end. And in a job such as teaching, that does become sometimes a little blurred."

    From here.
    disgusting, makes me question why I ever bothered with all the training for my teaching qualifications. Next they will want to have a CCTV camera watching everything we do in the classroom. This is Political correctness gone terribly wrong!

    Thing I will retrain as a Vet :)
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