One teacher in Queensland, Australia has gotten herself banned from teaching for 24 months due to reckless behaviour, such as blacking out in the classroom. The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) says that the teacher – whose name has not been disclosed – has a record of substance misuse and mental health problems.
Three years ago, there were a number of occasions where the unnamed teacher had combined Valium with vodka and water before losing consciousness in class. QCAT said that in one incident she took Valium in an attempt to “calm herself after having been involved in a domestic altercation with her ex-husband the previous night”.
There were several other inappropriate situations as well, such as transporting children in her car whilst under the influence of alcohol, drinking hand sanitizer, and being sent to hospital after collapsing on school property. According to QCAT, there was also an instance where she had passed out in second grade science class and “was unaware of an incident involving a child being punched”.
Her incessant substance abuse has put students in harms way and has brought several children to witness unprofessional and alarming behaviour.
“This is a sensitive issue,” says Grace Grace, Queensland education minister. “I believe the QCT (Queensland College of Teachers) has handled this well, and the decision is the right decision.”
On the road to recovery
The teacher’s failing marriage has caused her to experience “depression and anxiety due to an extremely difficult and traumatic period in her life,” according to QCAT. Repentant of her behaviour, the teacher has started sessions with a psychiatrist and has joined a rehab program. She said that she’s making her way to recovery, but she understands that it won’t be a short or easy endeavour.
After her two year suspension is up, she can then apply once more to begin teaching again, but only if she abides to specific conditions, such as psychiatric treatment for alcohol abuse, remaining in sobriety, and mandated frequent blood tests.