PE teacher banned after getting drunk and showing her breasts at school prom
A PE teacher has been banned from the classroom indefinitely after she got drunk and flashed her breasts during a photograph with pupils at a school prom.
Katherine Lake, 44, faced complaints over inappropriate behaviour with pupils at a Year 11 leavers’ prom at Reepham High School in June 2019.
A teachers’ disciplinary panel heard she had drunk eight glasses of wine at the prom before attempting to sit on one student’s lap, smoked a cigarette with another, then later pulled her top down to expose her breasts while posing with five pupils in a photo booth.
Mrs Lake, who is married, was head of PE at the school from 2008 until she was sacked in September 2019.
She admitted her actions were unacceptable professional conduct but said as she was under the influence of alcohol at the time and could not recall the events.
The Teaching Regulation Agency panel, which heard the case on October 26, recommended she should be struck off.
However, if after two years she can convince another panel that she is fit to return to teaching then she may be able to go back into the classroom.
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The panel had heard that prior to the school leavers’ prom Mrs Lake met with other staff members at a colleague’s house at 5pm and consumed between half to three-quarters of a bottle of wine.
At the prom she consumed at least four more glasses of wine and became “inappropriately inebriated”.
In its report the disciplinary panel noted that the allegations took place outside the education setting and that Mrs Lake was not “on duty” at the prom. However, the panel concluded that there was an “expectation of professional conduct”.
It concluded: “The panel also took account of the uniquely influential role that teachers can hold in pupils’ lives and the fact that pupils must be able to view teachers as role models in the way they behave.
“The panel considered that Mrs Lake’s behaviour, in committing the misconduct whilst holding a position of authority, as a teacher of many years’ experience could affect public confidence in the teaching profession.”
In a New Year message posted on Facebook on January 1 this year, Mrs Lake admitted she had made “a massive mistake which has led to a change in my career path, but I couldn’t be more happier as I get to spend valuable time with my loved ones.
“Life is certainly meant to test us, I just guess I must be a true fighter.”