Teacher censured for accessing porn on school-issued laptop

'Serious misconduct' must be 'formally marked by a penalty,' says tribunal

Teacher censured for accessing porn on school-issued laptop

A Math teacher at a secondary school in Hastings was censured after he was caught accessing pornographic material using a school-issued laptop in 2021.

The New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal in December censured John Mallory, who got caught by an IT employee in accessing websites that contained pornographic content, such as videos, images, stories.

In a review of his internet history, it was revealed that Mallory had 5,850 entries between January and September 2021 on websites which would be "considered inappropriate for a school computer."

Among Mallory's search terms that were found to be of "significant concern" include "teen orgasm," "teen sex," "young innocence sex," among others.

There were also entries that contained stories about non-consensual sex acts or rape, as well as content that centred around inappropriate relationships and relationships with minors, including teenagers and people of the age of his students.

Some of the keywords in the titles found in those websites include: "teacher learns a lesson," "teen schoolgirl gets knocked up by teacher," and "one of my students."

The Complaints Assessment Committee, which determines outcomes for conduct complaints against teachers, referred the matter to tribunal alleging that Mallory's behaviour amounted to serious misconduct.

Censure necessary for deterrence

In his submission to the tribunal, Mallory was remorseful and admitted his behaviour, but maintained that his intention was to only access material where the participants were over 18 years.

According to Mallory, he has already stopped teaching and has no plans to apply for another practising certificate, which expired in September 2023.

The tribunal recognised this but noted that a censure was necessary in case Mallory changes his mind in the future.

"It also fulfils the purpose of general deterrence by ensuring that serious misconduct is formally marked by a penalty," the tribunal ruled.

In addition to a censure, Mallory is also ordered to notify any future employer of the tribunal's decision for the next two years in case he wants to get employed again in the industry. He is also directed to pay $3,195.72 in legal costs.

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