Re­tired

Col­lege calls po­lice af­ter sixth com­plaint. Aaron Lea­man and Libby Wil­son re­port.

Sunday News - - FRONT PAGE -

PO­LICE have seized the lap­top used by a se­nior teacher, who was the sub­ject of three years of com­plaints of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­haviour­with stu­dents.

The new al­le­ga­tion against for­mer toro­hanga Col­lege so­cial sciences teacher Sean Cas­sidy, lodged in Novem­ber, is the lat­est of six, some of which had been left un­re­solved by the school un­til re­cently.

toro­hanga po­lice Sergeant Andy Con­nors said the new com­plaint re­lated to al­leged ob­jec­tion­able ma­te­rial on a lap­top. Of­fi­cers have seized the de­vice and for­warded the com­plaint to CIB de­tec­tives.

Cas­sidy re­tired this month. Sun­day News ap­proached him at his home yes­ter­day. ‘‘There’s noth­ing which I have done which is il­le­gal or in­ap­pro­pri­ate, and the school agreed with that,’’ he said.

The 342-pupil toro­hanga Col­lege is in cri­sis. The prob­lems co­in­cided with prin­ci­pal Lind­say Dunn’s res­ig­na­tion for un­re­lated rea­sons, to take up a new role, and an Ed­u­ca­tion Re­view Of­fice re­port that ex­pressed con­cern about the board’s ca­pac­ity. An Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry statu­tory man­ager has been parachuted in to lead the school, at the board’s re­quest.

Paul Matthews, who was ap­pointed lim­ited statu­tory man­ager in Oc­to­ber, said this was the sec­ond time the lap­top had been seized, although he said the first in­ci­dent was re­solved with noth­ing found.

The com­plaints about Cas­sidy came to light in re­sponses to Sun­day News Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act re­quests, part of a #MeToo in­ves­ti­ga­tion into sex­ual ha­rass­ment in the work­place. The school dis­closed a male teacher had been ac­cused of in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour four times be­tween 2016 and April 2018. Prin­ci­pal Lind­say Dunn said the school hadn’t han­dled the com­plaints well and con­ceded restora­tive jus­tice was in­ap­pro­pri­ately used in re­sponse¯O to the al­leged sex­ual ha­rass­ment of stu­dents, and two com­plaints were un­re­solved into this year.

In one case, two fe­male stu­dents com­plained the teacher had in­vaded their per­sonal space

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