Robert Louis teacher sacked, charged over alleged assault

DT
By Deidre Tautua-Fanene, 17 March 2018

A graduate student of Malua Theological College who was teaching at Robert Louis Stevenson Senior School has been sacked for the alleged assault of a student. 

The teacher, whose name has been withheld by Police, has been charged with assault. 

This was confirmed by the Police Spokesperson, Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo.

He said the matter was reported to the police on the 6 March, 2018.

“At the end of the investigation, the teacher was held in custody last week Friday on the charge of assault, “said Auapa’au.

“He’s on bail now to wait for his court appearance on the 27 March in the Supreme Court."

“The teacher is a graduate student of Malua Theological College.”

Contacted for a comment, the Chairman of the School Board, John Ryan Jnr., said the teacher no longer worked there.

“In matters like this, it’s very hard to release the details of the student who was involved because he’s under aged,” said Mr. Ryan.

“The issue is an internal matter for the school and we have informed the student’s parents about the matter."

“But the school has a very strict policy on corporal punishment, which is in line with the government’s directives that it is against the law to assault a student."

 “And we endeavor to try our best to make sure that this does not happen.”

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Asked if this is the first time an incident such as this occurred, Mr. Ryan said yes.

 “I’m not going to comment on previous years. This is the first time a teacher has done this, hence why he is being let go by the school,” said Mr. Ryan.

“The teacher also understands why the school and the board came up with the decision."

“He crossed the line and he can’t be in front of the student if this is how he handles the students.”

Pressed if the accused had been working there for long, Mr. Ryan declined to comment.

“That’s an employment issue between us and the teacher, so I’m not going to comment on that as well,” he said.

“All I can say is that this is the first incident that happened with this teacher and now the school has taken a step to ensure that this doesn’t happen again by removing the teacher. We take the safety of the students in the school very seriously."

“But the official position of the school is that there was an incident where the teacher smacked a student."

“And the parents of the students have taken the matter to the Police, so it’s now under Police investigation."

“So we do not make any comment that will hamper Police investigation."

“So officially, please refer to the Police for any comment on their investigation."

“But as far as the school is concerned, the teacher’s service has been terminated from the school."

“When the parents send their children to school, they should be confident that incidents like this will not happen."

“As soon the matter reaches us, what happened was the teacher was suspended and now his service is being terminated following the investigation."

“So the official position of the school is the teacher no longer works with the school because we’ve taken steps to ensure the safety of our students and the outcome of the investigation is that he’s been prosecuted so it is now with the Police.”

DT
By Deidre Tautua-Fanene, 17 March 2018

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