17 Feb 2016

Teachers' relationship with girl before council

7:05 pm on 17 February 2016

Two teachers committed serious misconduct in their relationship with a 13-year-old girl who was later found dead, the Education Council has been told.

The council's disciplinary tribunal was told a 42-year-old male intermediate school teacher and his 33-year-old fiance formed an inappropriate relationship with the girl.

All details of the case have previously been suppressed but the basic claims against the pair can now be revealed. However, the names of the teachers, the schools they taught at and their geographical location remain suppressed.

Documents presented to the tribunal say the man engaged in heavy texting and emailing of the girl and became increasing close to her in 2013 and 2014 .

There was no sexual involvement but he gave her gifts, she stayed over at his house after telling her parents she would be with friends and, at one point, he was seen lying on her bed and cuddling her and holding hands.

He is also charged with failing to report serious incidents regarding her mental health, including her own self-harm.

The woman was also accused of having an inappropriate relationship with the girl.

Psychiatrist Dr Craig Immelman treated the girl and said she appeared frightened and was trying to hide something.

He added she was utterly determined not to involve her parents in her case and was loyal to the male teacher, who she feared would suffer on her account.

But her mother said the teacher had estranged her from her family and completely changed her formerly healthy, popular and confident daughter into someone very different.

The tribunal was told the girl had undergone psychiatric treatment prior to her death, which is currently before the Coroner.

The case is continuing.