David Stuart

Teacher friends student on Facebook, left sordid comment

A TOOWOOMBA teacher has been reprimanded for initiating contact via Facebook with a student before leaving a highly inappropriate comment about his profile picture.

But that was not the only behaviour that saw the teacher before a tribunal to explain his actions.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard Dion Ashley Paulsen, 41, made the Facebook comment in September, 2012 before trying to laugh it off.

The tribunal heard during a hearing in May that Paulsen sent the student a message saying "Just blew my load … thanks" in response to a picture the student posted on his Facebook page.

The student unfriended Paulsen as a result.

The tribunal also heard that in 2006 Paulsen said to a student "I suppose you will rush home and tell Mummy everything" and "You are a mummy's boy" after the student's mother initiated a meeting with Paulsen over concerns she had about her son's treatment.

Paulsen also was asked to explain to the tribunal why in 2008 he felt the need to tell his students he had smoked marijuana and then while on playground duty had pushed a Year 9 student who was sitting on the edge of a wheelie bin into it.

QCAT Member Paul Kanowski said Paulsen should be reprimanded for behaving in a way that did not satisfy the standard of behaviour expected of a teacher, but his teaching licence should not suspended.

"On occasions he has acted oddly and inappropriately, modelled undesirable behaviour, yelled at a student and made demeaning comments, made inappropriate personal disclosures, and been over-familiar with some students," he said.

"Mr Paulsen has demonstrated poor judgment and inappropriate behaviour as a teacher on a number of occasions over the years, to the extent that he has been found not suitable to teach.

"However, he has taken steps to reform.

"There are good prospects that he will meet the required standards of behaviour in future."


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