Teacher suing church
Man claims harassment after ‘blowing whistle on tests’
AN Innisfail high school maths teacher who claims he blew the whistle on illegal testing practices is suing the Catholic Church for alleged bullying and harassment.
Marius Lucian Tutos has alleged that his career was “irreparable (sic) damaged” after he informed the Cairns Catholic Diocese that Good Counsel College had reused the same maths tests and prepared students to answer them.
In documents filed in Cairns District Court, Mr Tutos claimed he witnessed “violations of the law” at Good Counsel College ... “that affected my professional activities in class and my students”.
He has filed for compensation of $350,000 for defamation, and of $120,000 for “deterioration of my health”.
In a notice of defence, the Diocese has denied Mr Tutos’ allegations and described many of the points raised in his claim as “vague, meaningless and embarrassing” and maintains that the plaintiff failed to lodge a claim with Work Cover Queensland.
Lawyers for the Diocese are expected to apply to have the suit thrown out in November.
Mr Tutos, who began teaching at the college in March 2017, alleged he was targeted by a transitional leadership team at Good Counsel after the principal and two deputies were removed in December that year.
“A defamation process has been conducted, with significant consequences for dignity and reputation,” Mr Tutos claims.
In a response to the Diocese notice to defend, Mr Tutos alleged he discovered “violations of the law” at the college.
“In internal school assessments for each year level, the exam paper offered to schoolchildren was identical ... unchanged since 2012,” he stated.
“I realised, checking on the computer’s data, that the students were given the same exam every year in mathematics A and B for years.
“The students were prepared by their teachers and trained specifically to be able to solve the predictable questions the teachers knew they will come up in the next test.”
Mr Tutos alleged that after hearing his concerns, the head of department said “it is happening in many schools in Queensland”.
The matter will be mentioned in Cairns District Court on October 10 and applications by each party are expected to be heard in November.