ZURICH - For the first time, Zurichs Department of Education has checked a black list to see if the names of any of its new teachers are on it. Though none were, the existence of this list that alerts schools to those considered unfit to teach -- including both convicted child abusers, ordinary criminals and consistently difficult employees -- has raised questions in Switzerland.
The first check in Zurich was carried out at the beginning of this school year on an experimental basis by the Bern-based national Swiss Conference of Cantonal Departments of Education. Routinely checked are teachers whose CVs show lapses in job continuity, said Zurich school board chief Martin Wendelspiess. If there are holes in the CV, and the candidate says something like they spent two years learning yoga in India, we check to try and establish if thats true or if its covering something up.
Wendelspiess added that education authorities were routinely informed by the national conference if criminal proceedings for child abuse were opened against a teacher. But alleged sexual abusers are not the only ones on the list the name of any teacher convicted in court, or who repeatedly shirks duties and violates acceptable professional conduct, will be placed on the list which bans them from teaching.
Most of the banned teachers were involved in the sexual abuse of children, although one was banned for blackmail.
Blacklisted teachers have the possibility after a few years to apply for reinstatement, though that happens seldom in practice since most banned teachers go on to pursue careers in other areas.
There are presently 32 Zurich teachers on the national black list. Names are removed from the list when people reach retirement age or if they are reinstated.
Read the full story in German by Lucienne-Camille Vaudan
Photo - Wootang01
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