Pro IQRA News Updates.
A SCOTS art teacher is fired after walking into his ex-partner’s house and leaving gifts for her after they broke up.
Patrick Mackenzie Smith was found to have entered the home he and his ex-partner shared in October 2015, while working at Aberdeen Grammar School.
Mackenzie Smith, who has not studied in five years, also left his former partner – who is not named – a series of gifts at home in Aberdeen, as well as a mutilation of the artwork she created.
McKenzie-Smith has now been removed from the teaching record after an investigation into his actions was launched by the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS) this week.
They found that Mackenzie Smith had left presents outside the house, before later returning to the property and entering when the couple were no longer together, causing her fear and anxiety.
The former teacher also sent an email from his work address in June 2018 to a team including his former partner, deeming it inappropriate and unnecessary for the work he was doing at the time.
In April 2018 Mackenzie Smith was found guilty at Aberdeen Sheriff’s Court of ‘engaging in a course of conduct which caused his ex-partner to fear or worry that he had repeatedly defaced a piece of art created by his ex-partner’.
Despite this, he filed a follow-up request on the social networking site Instagram between December 2018 and January 2019 after the court imposed a non-molestation order.
Mackenzie Smith gave evidence during the four-day hearing in an effort to explain why he sent the email to the creative team in June 2018.
“I could hardly find anything on the Internet, but I had been on the mailing list for the past five years, when I clicked on the website I made my simple request to be added to the mailing list,” he said.
When asked about the follow request on Instagram, Mackenzie Smith said he couldn’t remember this incident but confirmed his username.
The hearing found that all allegations against the disgraced teacher had been found.
He was found to have breached parts 1.3, 1.4, 1.6 and 2.3 of the General Teaching Council for Scotland Code of Professional Conduct and Conduct (2012).
The panel reached its decision last week, saying: “We have found the teacher unfit to teach and therefore the only recourse available to us is to remove him from the teaching record.”
Mackenzie Smith’s legal representative, Andrew Mellor, asked the committee to show leniency when making its decision on the length of time to write off.
GTCS can impose a maximum two-year ban on any teacher, but Mr Mellor requested that his client be banned for just one day.
Mr Mellor said: “This event happened in 2015 and the last two were in 2018 which can be proven to be misconduct, since then he has not taught [in] Almost five years.
“It is difficult to see what advantages can be gained in protecting the public, and the purpose is not to punish but to look ahead – and that is as it should be.
“I would suggest [his suspension] It has to be someday – remorse shown and no evidence of any effect this had on his ability to teach.
“He is not personally in the same position he was in 2015 and 2018 – he has admitted to the first two counts.
“There is much already accomplished and it seems to me that there is little to be gained from suspending his testimony.
“He has accepted his responsibility and confirmed those admissions and yet we have spent the last four days putting Mr Mackenzie through these matters to find him wedged to a small start.
“In my post there is nothing to be won [from a longer suspension].
“I have nothing to add other than that there is no suggested minimum.”
Mr Mackenzie Smith will find out next month how long he will be stricken from his teaching record.