Teacher sexually harasses learners via Whatsapp – found guilty and fired

Letter written to Permanent Secretary of Education to blacklist teacher from ever teaching at any Namibian school again

Parents of children who fell victim to this sex pest contemplating criminal charges against the teacher

Floris Steenkamp

A teacher of a well-known primary school at Walvis Bay will be blacklisted from ever teaching at any school in Namibia in the future, following his dismissal at this particular school earlier this week for sexual harassment, gross dishonesty and non-compliance with procedure. The charges stem among others from this particular teacher’s inappropriate communications with minor girls via social media platform Whatsapp.
Parents who spoke to namib times on condition of anonymity said they want parents to take notice that Whatsapp is one of the most dangerous avenues sex pests use to exploit children.
The teacher was appointed at the school in January this year. Soon after he started it was discovered he introduced a personalised greeting system for the children attending his classes. That included him giving hugs to all the girls and the boys were greeted by handshake and other forms of hand greetings.
As it was deemed in-appropriate the teacher was soon reprimanded by the school principal. Then it was discovered the teacher arranged for a private meeting with one of the girls to assist her with a subject she had difficulty with. He was once again reprimanded and reminded that the school’s standard procedure for extra classes only to be presented by male teaching staff when learners are in a group.
The final straw came when several parents reported to the school the teacher had contact with their children by Whatsapp and many of the messages were of a sexual nature.
The teacher throughout maintained he kept his distance from the children.
During September the teacher was suspended and disciplinary action was taken against him with the charge being sexual harassment, gross dishonesty and non-compliance with procedure.
On the day of his disciplinary  hearing the teacher failed to turn up.
He allegedly phoned the principal and offered to resign. He was informed this request cannot be entertained, due to the serious nature of the allegations against him.
The proceedings were postponed to a new date. On this new date the teacher again contacted the school and said he is not available and disciplinary inquiry can continue in his absence.
He was found guilty on all charges on 24 September and he was dismissed.
In a letter dated 28 September the school principal directed a letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp. In this letter the principal provided a synopsis of the events that led to the teacher’s dismissal and a request was also made to the Permanent Secretary for this teacher to be blacklisted, never to teach at any Namibian school again.
∙A parent who opts to remain anonymous yesterday confirmed criminal charges against this teacher might follow soon.

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