Wellington Scoop

Two women teachers resign from St Pat’s after sexual harassment by 4 pupils

Two women teachers have resigned from their positions at St Pat’s in Silverstream because of “considerable distress” caused when they were sexually harassed by four year 9 students in February.

Rector Gerard Tully is quoted today by the NZ Herald as saying

“As a result of the considerable distress experienced by two of our women staff
members from an incident of sexual harassment in February, they have each decided that they are unable to continue employment at the College and have resigned. We acknowledge with thanks their dedication and work in our community.

“We remain committed to developing within all our students the appreciation of, and respect for, the inherent dignity of each person. In our particular environment this specifically includes the appropriate and respectful treatment of women and girls.”

The DomPost reports that Education Minister Hekia Parata said: “My understanding is that there is some legal action in respect of this case, and I expect that the board of the school will be concerned, and will be taking responsible measures.”

The DomPost quotes Post Primary Teachers Association president Jack Boyle as saying while he could not speak to the facts of the case, it was critical teachers were protected and supported while teaching. Schools also needed to be safe places for students.

RadioNZ reports that the four boys were suspended for inappropriately filming the two women. The boys were later allowed to return to the school.