Teacher not guilty of assaulting student
AFTER more than a year of legal battles to clear her name, a Gympie region teacher was yesterday acquitted of assaulting a Year 8 student.
After a brief deliberation yesterday afternoon, the District Court jury returned a not guilty verdict for the woman accused of assault occassioning bodily harm following a school incident in November, 2011.
The verdict ended almost 18 months of court appearances for the German teacher, who on the day of the incident had taken a Year 8 class to the school's volleyball courts for assignment work.
The court heard the class had lost interest in the activity on that day, and students, including the complainant, had started to play with the volleyballs.
It was told a stray volleyball, served by the complainant, hit the teacher in the head, and that she then punched him in the arm, grabbed him by the collar and walked him to the office.
Some of the versions of the events of that day were noted by the defence to be inconsistent. While the prosecution suggested the teacher was losing control of her class and had punched the student on the upper arm out of anger, the defence argued that seven of the eight student witnesses had provided written statements on the day of the incident, claiming the teacher punched the student in his shoulder, not his upper arm.
The court heard that in the weeks following the incident the witnesses re-told their accounts in recorded interviews, which this time described a punch to the upper arm, not the shoulder.