Teacher banned for sending penis photos to student

A QUEENSLAND teacher has been banned for 12 months after admitting to exchanging photos and videos of his genitalia with a student. 

The teacher first made contact with the student using the Grindr - a gay meeting app - in April 2014.

He started communicating with the student before he realising he attended the school at which he taught and argued he deserved leniency because Grindr requires users to be over 18. 

A Queensland Civial and Administrative Tribunal judgment published on August 31 described on again, off again communication between the two between April and November 2014. 

Most of the communication was started by the student with the teacher ceasing to respond to messages on three separate occasions before the student got back in touch. 

The teacher's identity has been suppressed by the courts. 

"The topics of discussion between the student and (the teacher) included their respective sexual interests and sexual history," the judgment read.

"They also exchanged images of each other, including images of parts of their bodies without clothing and their genitalia.

"During the fourth period of communication, they exchanged video images of each other including their genitalia.

"They discussed the possibility of meeting but this did not happen."

As well as messaging via Grindr the pair used Facebook, texts and one session on Skype to communicate. 

Most of the communication took place after the teacher had realised the student went to his school.

The teacher's lawyers argued the fact he owned up to what had been going on by telling his superiors at the school where he taught, meant he deserved a shorter suspension from his profession - before he would be able to apply for re-registration. 

"It is also submitted on (the teacher's) behalf that the need for a deterrent in this case is reduced by the fact that he disclosed his own conduct, that there have been no previous student protection history issues involving him, and that he demonstrated genuine insight into the inappropriateness of his conduct and the desire to address it," the QCAT judgment stated.  

"It is submitted that in the circumstances, a period of prohibition from reapplying for registration as a teacher for a period of 9 to 12 months is appropriate," the judgment read.

The Queensland Teachers College argued three years would be a more appropriate suspension.

However the Tribunal stated the teacher had to be given "credit" for disclosing what was going on and said his suspension should be seen as a means of protecting future students rather than a punishment. 

"In the circumstances we think an appropriate period of prohibition is 12 months from the date of our order," the Tribunal's decision stated. 



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