13 Apr 2017

Teachers resign after student sexual harassment

5:01 pm on 13 April 2017

Two female teachers have resigned from a Catholic boys' secondary school in Upper Hutt after being sexually harassed by students.

St Patrick's College, Silverstream

St Patrick's College in Silverstream Photo: FACEBOOK / St Patrick's College Foundation

The rector of St Patrick's College in Silverstream, Gerard Tully, sent a letter to parents this morning saying the teachers had resigned as a result of the considerable distress they had experienced.

Four Year 9 students accused of inappropriately filming the teachers were suspended last month.

Mr Tully said in his letter the school remained committed to teaching students to have respect for other people, in particular women and girls.

Post Primary Teachers' Association president Jack Boyle said schools needed help to teach young people respect for others.

He would not comment on the specific case, but said his union was frequently involved in trying to educate young people about consent.

"You can't really do it alone. So with all the best intention, with all of the different packages and programmes that are out there, there needs to be a wider social conversation around what it is that schools can and should be doing to ensure that our young people have got a set of attitudes, and an understanding of their obligations."

Ministry of Education spokesperson Katrina Casey said the staff involved were offered support from the school following the incident.

Ms Casey said their decision to resign was clearly not an action they would have taken lightly.

The ministry has confirmed inappropriate images of the teachers were posted to Instagram.

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