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Hawke’s Bay School’s Teacher Caught With Adult Content

A teacher at Hawke’s Bay High School was found to have accessed inappropriate content involving teenagers and teacher-student relationships through a school-issued laptop.

John Mallory, who served as a math teacher at Karamu High School in Hastings in 2021, was discovered streaming pornographic material on his school laptop.

Mallory received a new laptop in 2020, with his old one being examined to transfer any necessary data. During this process, a bookmark to a pornographic site was discovered, but it was initially assumed to be an error, and no further action was taken.

In 2021, Mallory requested technical assistance due to issues with his laptop. During the troubleshooting process, his folders and data were backed up, and he was provided with a temporary replacement laptop. However, the backup included his browsing history.

Following another request for technical support, upon unlocking his laptop, a pornographic video was displayed, prompting the matter to be reported to the school principal.

An investigation revealed that Mallory had accessed pornographic video-sharing sites as well as erotic fiction and fantasy websites. No content had been downloaded onto the laptop.

During a disciplinary hearing, Mallory admitted to making a lapse in judgment, claiming that the majority of the content—90%—consisted of short stories. Nonetheless, he acknowledged that it was inappropriate to use school-issued laptops for such purposes.

As a result, Mallory was suspended, and a digital forensic report was conducted for the Complaints Assessment Committee of the New Zealand Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal.

His internet activity from January to September 2021 was scrutinized, revealing that out of 9,822 records, 5,850 were deemed inappropriate for a school computer, primarily consisting of videos and literature.

Some of the web pages accessed depicted non-consensual acts and inappropriate relationships involving minors, including teenagers and individuals of similar age to Mallory’s students.

The report indicated that Mallory spent three to four hours per session engaging with such materials, although it was clarified that this occurred outside of school hours.

Despite having a 50-year tenure as a teacher, Mallory stated that he would not pursue teaching again and agreed to surrender his teaching certificate.

The tribunal ruled that Mallory’s actions constituted serious misconduct, asserting that they cast doubt on his suitability as a teacher, highlighting lapses in professional judgment and integrity regarding appropriate boundaries.

It was acknowledged, however, that the accessed sites and materials were not classified as objectionable.

The tribunal opted to publicize its findings and imposed a condition requiring Mallory to disclose the decision to any prospective employer.

Furthermore, requests for name suppression for Mallory and the school were denied.

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