National News

Ban on QLD teacher drunk in class

A female teacher who fell asleep in a drunken stupor in a Year two classroom and failed to notice a student being punched has been suspended from teaching in Queensland.

In 2016, the teacher took Valium before a Year 2 science class to calm herself after an argument with her ex-husband the previous night.

At morning recess, she took more Valium and mixed vodka with water in a water bottle before returning to the classroom.

She fell unconscious in class and teachers called an ambulance which took her to hospital.

The following month, the teacher again took Valium and drank a mix of water and vodka in a water bottle in class.

The school principal went to the teacher's classroom and found her sitting at her desk asleep in front of the class.

When she woke up, she was confused and disoriented.

The principal advised her not to drive but she drove from the school and was arrested and convicted of drink driving.

On a third occasion, in 2018, the teacher collapsed near the school library and was taken to hospital.

Blood tests showed she had a blood alcohol level of .34 indicating she was in a drunken stupor.

Queensland's Civil and Administrative Tribunal has banned the woman from teaching for two years and ordered her to undertake treatment for alcoholism.

The teacher, who cannot be named, is required to undergo monthly blood tests to prove total abstinence from alcohol for six months before being allowed to apply to resume working as a teacher.

In a QCAT judgement released on Saturday the teacher was also required to have monthly blood tests for at least a year once she returns to teaching.

Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace said the case was concerning but she supported the decision in the case and the action taken by the Queensland College of Teachers.

"These are often isolated instances and in this case there were personal issues at stake as well but I think the QCT has handled it very well and I support their decision."

© AAP 2019