St Helens teacher used Facebook to prey on pupils

St Helens Star: Teacher used Facebook to prey on pupils Teacher used Facebook to prey on pupils

A DISGRACED teacher has been banned from the classroom for seven years after preying on three young female pupils, including using Facebook to invite one to his home and attempting to kiss her.

David Wolfarth was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct, while teaching at secondary schools in St Helens and Widnes.

The Teaching Agency panel found that during 2008, while at a St Helens school, he communicated with a pupil via Facebook, then met her during the summer holidays, where he invited her back to his home and attempted to kiss her.

Police records showed that the pupil told police: “I contacted Mr Wolfarth through Facebook and he asked to meet me in Liverpool, which I did.”

Though he denied attempting to kiss the girl, the panel was satisfied that he had and had also communicated with another pupil on Facebook to speak about personal matters.

He admitted discussing a book that he was writing, claiming one of the characters was loosely based on her.

In January 2010 while working in Widnes, he was said to have held one-to-one meetings with another female pupil, including conversations, again about personal matters.

Recommending that he should be banned, the panel said that his behaviour “fell significantly short of the standard and behaviour expected of a teacher”.

They added: “Mr Wolfarth has seriously departed from the standards expected of a teacher and has abused his position of trust towards three pupils; this was a pattern of behaviour.

“Taking a pupil to his empty home and attempting to kiss her is incompatible with being a teacher. Prohibition is necessary to protect children and to maintain public confidence in the profession.”

In imposing the ban the Education Secretary Michael Gove said: “Mr Wolfarth’s behaviour is a serious departure from the standards expected of a teacher and he has abused his position of trust.

“He has shown a lack of insight and understanding through his failure to heed the warnings he was given; his failure to adhere to guidance and his lack of regard to the safeguarding training he received.

“In the circumstances I endorse the panel’s recommendation that a prohibition is appropriate and that no review shall be allowed until 23 January 2020.”

If Wolfarth does seek a return to teaching in 2020, he will have to persuade a panel he is fit to go back in the classroom.

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