Africa 

News24.com | Now Bishops teacher risks being deregistered amid fresh investigation

The SA
Council for Educators (SACE), which registers teachers, has launched its own
investigation into the conduct of a female former Bishops teacher following
allegations of a relationship with a male pupil.

“There
is a SACE investigation because that teacher is registered with us,” said
spokesperson Thembinkosi Ndhlovu, in relation to Fiona Viotti, a former model
turned history teacher and sports coach.

In terms
of the SACE’s rules, teachers are subject to a code of conduct and having a
relationship with a pupil is considered out of bounds.

Ndhlovu
said that in any SACE investigation, and not just this one, there could be
recommendations that a disciplinary hearing be held.

Formal
charges are laid and a teacher has the right to representation. 

Bishops: Inside the exclusive school rocked by sex
scandal

Few would
have predicted that a relationship between a pupil at Cape Town’s elite Bishops
Diocesan College and a female teacher would have snowballed this week to a
take-down request to a porn site and a group of top lawyers being appointed for
everybody involved.

The
sanctions for a finding of misconduct state that a teacher can be fined, or
reprimanded; or struck off the roll of registration for a particular period;
or, struck off indefinitely.

“That
means they can’t be a teacher,” said Ndhlovu.

Another
sanction could be that a teacher’s name is submitted to the social development department
to be registered as a person who may not work with children.  

Ndhlovu said
the department was receiving a lot of complaints – generally of teachers being
accused of having relationships with pupils. 

“You’re
sending out your children to be learned, not to be the wives and husbands of
old people,” he added.

Earlier
on Monday, News24 reported that Viotti was receiving medical care.

“She
needs counselling, and she’s under medical care,” said attorney William
Booth who was appointed by her family to monitor developments in the
case. “People can be severely affected by this, emotionally.”

The
teacher had already resigned, Booth said.

He is
assisting her and her family during the school’s investigation after she
resigned. 

READ: Bishops teacher: ‘She was a very
sweet girl, so we are all very shocked’, parents say amid sex claims

Booth
said he would not comment on the finer details of the allegations.

Last week,
the school’s headmaster, Guy Pearson, asked that pupils should speak out after
it emerged that other boys might also have been affected. 

On
Monday, Pearson said they would not be responding to any specific questions
until the investigation by the attorneys and senior council was complete. 

“Given
the sensitivities of the matter, we do not wish to respond until the
investigation is complete and we have received their report,” he added, 

“The
investigation is ongoing. We have not set a deadline regarding its finalisation.” 

The
pupil’s lawyer did not want to comment.

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