Teacher who said gay people 'have a disease' barred from teaching

10th October 2017 at 18:23
gay, homophobia, homophobic, teacher, national college of teaching, panel, barred from teaching
Joshua Onduso was found guilty of homophobic conduct, after saying that gay people were 'sick in the head'

A teacher who said he thought that gay people “have a disease” and “have something wrong upstairs” has been barred for teaching, with no possibility of review.

Joshua Onduso was found to have engaged in offensive and homophobic dialogue while employed at The Reintegration Service, Moorside Community Centre, a pupil-referral unit in Berkshire.

When asked by a pupil what he thought of gay people, Mr Onduso responded by saying: “Gay people have a disease.” He then pointed to his head and said: “They have something wrong upstairs.”

When a pupil then asked whether he thought gay people were like animals, Mr Onduso nodded and said that he did. He then added that they were “sick in the head”.

Panel ruling

The professional-conduct panel at the National College for Teaching and Leadership, which presided over the case, heard from Mr Onduso’s lawyer that the words “sick in the head” and “like animals” were not those of a middle-aged professional. Instead, he argued, they were the words of teenagers.

The panel, however, did not accept this, and were persuaded by a witness who argued that she would have expected comments fabricated by pupils to include more swear words.

A report into the hearing states: “The panel was therefore satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that Mr Onduso failed to demonstrate tolerance and respect for the rights and-or beliefs of others…

“Mr Onduso did not have proper and professional regard to the code of conduct of the school. He failed to act as a role model at all times.”

The panel ruled that Mr Onduso was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct, which could bring the profession into disrepute.

Homophobic behaviour

In light of the fact that Mr Onduso had displayed neither insight into his actions nor remorse, the panel concluded that it could not rule out the possibility of his displaying homophobic behaviour again.

Dawn Dandy, making the decision on behalf of the education secretary, banned Mr Onduso from teaching indefinitely, with no option to apply for the restoration of his eligibility to teach.

The National College also indefinitely barred secondary teacher Nathan Waring from teaching. Mr Waring had been found to have had an inappropriate relationship – including kissing and touching – with a 12-year-old girl at St Bede’s Prep School, in Eastbourne.

He went on to engage in inappropriate behaviour with another pupil – this time at Gresham School, in Norfolk.

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