The first section of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber of the Superior Court of Xustiza of Galicia (TSXG) has confirmed the suspension of functions for 18 months and 15 days imposed by the Xunta on a career official of the body of secondary education teachers, with final destination in a vocational training center in Pontevedra, as the author responsible for two serious infractions: one for unjustified lack of performance; and, the other, for serious inconsideration towards people with whom he interacted in the exercise of his functions.
The TSXG has taken into account the report of the Educational Inspection Service dated February 19, 2021, in which it indicates that, throughout the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 academic years, the director of the center had to warn the appellant , “verbally and on repeated occasions”, that his attitude in the classroom and towards the students, as well as his teaching practice, “were not the most accurate”, since the Management had received numerous complaints from the students, which continued in subsequent courses. Finally, on March 17, 2021, the Xunta adopted the agreement to initiate the disciplinary procedure against the plaintiff and, on December 21, 2021, issued the sanctioning resolution.
The punishment for the unjustified lack of performance was based on the following facts: not informing the students of the didactic programming; tardiness; lack of explanation of the matter; inconsistency in qualification criteria; the exams did not demonstrate the achievement of the specific objectives; In some exams there are comments such as “a disaster” or “very weak”, without any analysis or indication; The only evaluation instrument was one exam per quarter; At no time did he use the virtual classroom or the means provided by the Xunta; used WhatsApp as a telematic instrument; and did not comply with the instructions received from the Head of Studies.
The Chamber emphasizes that, both through the testimonial evidence of at least eight students, and the statement of the head of studies, it has been proven that the teacher “was habitually absent from the classroom without justification during classes and “I left the students alone.” Furthermore, the TSXG highlights that “each and every one of the facts on which the imputation of unjustified lack of performance has been based has been duly accredited.”
Regarding the facts consisting of serious disregard for the students, the Galician high court has also considered proven the use of inappropriate nicknames “to refer to many students, ridiculing and disqualifying them” with the use of expressions such as “Pokemon”, “Meow” , “Transformer” or “drug addict”; as well as the use of unpleasant, cutting or dismissive answers with some students; the favored treatment of some students due to their physical appearance and age; the use of sexist and insinuating comments to refer to some of the students; asking unnecessary and personal questions; intervention in the girls’ conversations in the classroom; and inappropriate behaviors, without following the pedagogical guidelines to which a teacher is obliged.
The TSXG, in this way, has rejected the appeal filed by the professor against the ruling of the Contentious-Administrative Court number 2 of Pontevedra that confirmed both sanctions. The magistrates explain that in the sanctioning resolution “the sanction imposed for the serious infraction of unjustified lack of performance is justified with the argument that we are dealing with persistent conduct to which a high degree of guilt should be attributed, insofar as the accused was warned of the incorrectness of their conduct, without modifying it (except in relation to the use of WhatsApp and in the registration of absences), to which we must add the negative impact on the public and student interests. Furthermore, the TSXG emphasizes that, singularly, “with regard to the deficient use of telematic media at times when the teacher-student relationship and the learning process were sustained in these media, the deficient use of evaluation instruments , the unjustified absences from the classroom and the methodology used, issues that notoriously limited the students’ right to quality education.
Regarding the sanction of 11-month suspension from duties imposed for serious disregard for the students, the magistrates highlight that “there is also intentionality, persistence and damage to the public and private interests of the students.” The magistrates highlight that the alleged facts “refer to continued conduct that has occurred throughout an academic year, so it is not essential to specify the dates with respect to those charged, given that the testimonies have been so clear, concrete, coherent and congruent, that there is no doubt about them, especially since they coincide with the documents that support them.” The sentence is not final, since an appeal can be filed before the Supreme Court.
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