Teacher projected porn websites in Year 7 class

1st July 2011 at 01:00
He claimed he had not taken his medication for bipolar disorder

Pupils saw "unacceptable images" when their teacher searched the internet for pornographic websites in the classroom, a disciplinary panel has heard.

Andrew Milewski looked at an "inappropriate" site while teaching a Year 7 class, and children were able to see the images because they were displayed on a projector.

The teacher - who has a mental health condition - has been struck off the teaching register indefinitely by the General Teaching Council for England (GTC).

Mr Milewski, who worked at Wetherby High School in West Yorkshire, also searched for porn stars' biographies and "other similar sites" on the internet.

He sent an "offensive and abusive" text message to the headteacher of another school after being rejected for a job, and was convicted of driving after drinking excessive levels of alcohol and of failing to stop and report an accident he was involved in.

Mr Milewski, 29, looked at the websites during teaching time between September 2008, when he started working at Wetherby High, and February 2009. He left the school in July 2009.

School leaders began an investigation into Mr Milewski's work after interviewing pupils.

The offensive text message was sent to George Bowery, principal of The English School Fahaheel in Kuwait in May or June 2009. Mr Milewski has admitted "in hindsight" that it was "abusive".

Mr Milewski, who suffers from bipolar disorder, claimed that his inappropriate use of the internet occurred because he stopped taking his medication.

He told school governors: "In other words, whatever I was doing, I was doing it because I wanted to at the time. But I wasn't thinking through what the consequences might have been because I wasn't able to because I wasn't on my medication."

But the GTC panel said evidence showed he had been behaving in that way "for some time" while taking his medication.

"We consider that accessing pornography within a school classroom when pupils are present is a fundamental and serious breach of the standards that a teacher should observe and the public are entitled to expect," panel chair Kathy Thomson said.

"By so doing, Mr Milewski failed to put the well-being and development of the children first. He failed to apply appropriate standards of personal conduct and thus undermined public trust and confidence in the profession.

"We note that he was responsible for a class of 11-year-old children, some of whom were able to see some of the images that he had accessed on the class projector."

Ms Thomson said the GTC did not consider Mr Milewski's drink-driving conviction in 2001 a "relevant offence" because it happened when he was a teenager and "some years" before he started teaching.

But she added that his conviction for failing to stop and report an accident showed "a lack of integrity" and did "impact in a material way on his fitness to be a registered teacher".

"This case concerns conduct which continued over a significant period of time. Mr Milewski spent periods of time where he was clearly not supervising his class adequately," Ms Thomson said.

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