Friday, May 06, 2016
England: Lesbian teacher, 29, is struck off after starting a sexual relationship with a teenage girl
A female teacher who pursued an 'inappropriate and sexually motivated' relationship with a teenage girl she unofficially mentored has been banned from the profession.
Tuesday Nathan, 29, formed a 'secretive' relationship with the Year 11 student at Leventhorpe Business and Enterprise Academy.
She was even caught hugging the 'loner' in a darkened classroom in in the school in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire.
Nathan, who had worked at the academy as a newly qualified teacher for six years, has been struck off indefinitely.
A National College for Teaching and Leadership misconduct panel, meeting in Coventry, West Midlands, found she brought the profession into disrepute.
They accepted allegations that she had an inappropriate relationship with the student, named only as 'Pupil A', by hugging her in a darkened classroom in December, 2014.
Nathan had been informally mentoring the teenager, who had 'friendship issues', since October 2013, at the request of the girl's form tutor but it was not a school sanctioned arrangement.
She admitted that she continued 'mentoring' the girl even after her manager warned her not to.
A teacher witnessed the pair in the dark room with their knees locked and embraced in a hug at around 8.25am before they 'quickly separated' when she entered.
Nathan accepted she hugged her saying the girl 'was upset so I naturally hugged her' but the panel declared it was inappropriate.
She also admitted giving the girl her personal mobile phone number and continued to speak to her outside of school, during weekends and school holidays.
Staff members raised concerns about their relationship and she told her manager in December, 2014, that they would no longer meet other than on Wednesdays in a public space. But she continued to speak to her on the phone and even gave her a lift in her car.
Nathan, despite denying it, was found to have continued the relationship 'motivated by sexual desire'.
Jayne Millions, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan, struck her off.
She said: 'She also continued the relationship with Pupil A in a secretive manner and was evasive during the academy's investigation about the level of contact she had with Pupil A.
'Ms Nathan had only given Pupil A her mobile telephone number and not any other pupils.'
There were 34 occasions between September 2014 - February 2015 when they communicated on mobile phones, the panel found.
A former colleague defended Nathan saying she was 'trustworthy, reliable and altruistic' and held in 'high regard' by her form tutor group because she 'genuinely cared' for every student.
But Ms Millions wrote: 'In light of the panel's findings against Ms Nathan, which involved inappropriate and sexually motivated conduct towards Pupil A, there is a strong public interest consideration in respect of the protection of pupils.
'Taking all of the facts into account I support the recommendation of the panel that Ms Nathan be prohibited. This seems to me to be proportionate and appropriate.
'This means that Ms Tuesday Nathan is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children's home in England.'
Nathan, who did not attend the hearing, was given 28 days to appeal the order.