A NEWPORT teacher who showed his own sex toys-selling website to a classroom and discussed sex fetishes with his students has been struck off the teaching register.
Shane Weston, a former multi-skills teacher at the Coleg Gwent City of Newport campus, projected pages from a website that included inappropriate sexual and adult content onto a board for students to see. He was also found to have made inappropriate verbal references to students to material with a sexual and adult content. Both incidents took place during a teaching session at the Newport campus in October 2012.
A committee of the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) in Cardiff today said Mr Weston’s actions amounted to unacceptable professional behaviour and that he had “abused his position of trust”.
In a statement, Mr Weston, who is now self-employed and said he has no intention of returning to teaching, had always denied the allegations, insisting the allegations were “idiotic” and had been a “complete set-up from day one”. He did not attend, and was not represented at the hearing.
The committee heard how an internal investigation was launched at the college campus in December 2012, headed by its acting deputy director at the time, Julien Newberry.
Mr Weston, who is believed to be in his forties, had been a lecturer at the college since August 2007 but was suspended from his post on December 3, 2012, after the college found him guilty of gross misconduct.
Students, some as young as 16, told Mr Newberry how Mr Weston had discussed masochistic practices among men and had shown them a website he was constructing with pictures of “scantily clad women” with sex aids or toys.
One student told how Mr Weston referred to a TV programme about sexual fetishes in which a man whipped another man with a rope.
Mr Newberry said: “The learners felt disgusted. They were young males and quite streetwise, but they felt this was inappropriate and not a discussion they wanted to have with their teacher.”
Mr Weston gave various explanations about how the students came to see his website, but denied ever showing it to them willingly, saying students had a “personal vendetta” against him. He did however admit to designing and co-owning the website, and to accessing the website during teaching time using the college network.
Jim Bennett, principal and chief executive of Coleg Gwent, told the hearing Mr Weston was not remorseful and “there was not a scrap of evidence to show he appreciated what he was being accused of”.
The professional conduct committee found Mr Weston’s explanations in denying the allegations “implausible” and removed him from the teaching register with immediate effect. He can re-apply to be a teacher in seven years.