17 May 2005
PPTA supports decision to stand down
PPTA is supporting associate education minister David Benson-Pope’s decision to stand down while allegations made by some former students are investigated.
PPTA general secretary Kevin Bunker said that because of the nature of their job teachers were, like doctors, particularly exposed to the risk of allegations of misbehaviour.
He said regardless of what one thought of the allegations, Mr Benson-Pope was entitled to the process of natural justice, like any other teacher, former teacher or indeed citizen.
Mr Bunker said the inquiry should also consider the context in which the alleged incidents occurred, and the inappropriate manner in which they were raised.
“We would expect any teacher or former teacher who has had allegations made against them to be advised of the nature of the allegation, who was making it, and for them to be given the chance to respond in a proper manner.
“Whether there is any substance to these allegations or not, they should have been made through an appropriate channel: e.g. a complaint to the police or the Teachers Council, rather than the politically motivated way they were raised in the House.
“It is disappointing that at a time when we need to focus on urgently resolving the problems with the NCEA, addressing operations funding and burgeoning teacher workloads, we are being diverted into muck raking by political game players.”