In the news this week, Geoffrey Bettley, a former RE teacher was ruled to be allowed to work again after being convicted for possessing indecent images of children at between level 1-3 on the Copine scale, which suggest low levels of seriousness. The panel ruled that he poses ‘no risk’ to children. So the question of today is, should a teacher be reinstated with this conviction?
There are a few things to consider here. One of them is the nature of the conviction. For me, this conviction is indecent images of children, and the fact that his job involves children would make me have serious doubts about the level of ‘risk’ that he may pose.
Another thing to realise is the low level nature of these images on the Copine scale. This may be one of the things that the panel used as a mitigating circumstance for allowing this man to return to the profession, but at the end of the day these pictures still showed children being abused, no matter what level it is at.
On the other side of the argument, I’m sure a lot of us will admit we’ve all done things that we aren’t proud of. I can think of several things I did at school that I’m not proud of, albeit none of these things were criminal offences, but I was given a second chance, and have grabbed it with both hands. Applying the second chance right, is it so wrong to give him a second chance, despite everything that he’s done in the past?
What do you think? Has he blown his career and doesn’t deserve a second chance, or should he be given a second chance to prove his worth?