A relief teacher fresh from university says he was unfairly sacked after students pushed, assaulted and swore at him.
In a decision published today, WA Industrial Commissioner Stephen Kenner ordered the state education department to rehire the teacher, Rudresh Dakoor, until the conclusion of disciplinary action against him.
On May 17, the department had ordered Mr Dakoor to leave the premises of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School after two incidents on May 6 and 12.
In the commission, the department testified that the incidents “directly involved the safety and welfare of a student at the school”.
Through his State School Teachers’ Union of WA counsel, Mr Dakoor argued he had been pushed, assaulted, and subjected to “intense verbal profanities and intimidation by some students”.
Mr Dakoor stated he was unfairly, oppressively and unlawfully dismissed.
He rejected the department’s allegations, stating that any physical force he may have used was reasonable and consistent with maintaining order in a classroom.
He testified that the department failed to regard his allegations, tendered in an incident report on May 12, that the students who had made the claims had a history of falsely accusing teachers.
Mr Kenner questioned the department’s submission that it was inappropriate to afford Mr Dakoor a hearing before the order was issued.
“It is not readily apparent as to why Mr Dakoor could not have been given some opportunity to at least initially respond to the allegations,” he noted.
Mr Dakoor completed university in September last year and started as a relief teacher at the school on April 19. His contract was initially scheduled to run through to July 2.
Mr Kenner noted the department’s action would “hang over Mr Dakoor like a cloud”, possibly affecting future employment even in non-government schools.
He ordered that Mr Dakoor be stationed at the Swan District Education Office until the department’s disciplinary action was complete.