24 Nov 2014

Maori former principal struck off

7:50 pm on 24 November 2014

A former Maori immersion school principal has been censured and struck off by a disciplinary tribunal for serious misconduct which included allowing students in their teens to stay overnight at her home.

Louisa Mutu was dismissed from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Whangaroa in the Far North last year and an investigation was carried out by the Teachers Council's complaints assessment committee.

In the tribunal's decision, it said students who travelled some distances to the school were allowed to stay at Ms Mutu's home. The document did not say whether the tauira were female or male students.

The decision also questioned her use of communicating to students via the social networking site Facebook.

Ms Mutu met with the complaints committee and told the authority she knew that she had stepped over the line by using Facebook. She said she had never done that before and it was prompted by a student's call for help.

The tribunal censured Ms Mutu for serious misconduct and cancelled her teaching registration. She was also ordered to pay $2000 to the complaints assessment committee to cover legal costs.

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