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Melbourne teacher struck off after affair

A female teacher at a Melbourne Catholic boys' secondary school who had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student has been deregistered.

The Age reports today that Michelle Ines Alleri, a former languages teacher at St Joseph's College in Ferntree Gully, was found guilty of serious misconduct and was deemed unfit to teach after a disciplinary hearing at the Victorian Institute of Teaching.

At the time of the alleged relationship, in 2003, the student involved was in year 11. No charges can be laid because the student was 17 at the time of the alleged affair. He has since completed year 12.

Ms Alleri had denied any wrongdoing but resigned last year over the allegations. The decision to cancel her teaching licence is published in today's Government Gazette.

St Joseph's principal Vin Feeney said he was glad the matter had been finalised.

"We are pleased that the processes support schools in their attempt to protect students from teachers who step over the line with regards to duty of care," he said.

In other news about Catholic schools, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that about 1500 people, including 1100 school students, were evacuated yesterday after a gas leak in western Sydney. Emu Plains Primary School and Our Lady of the Way Catholic School were evacuated as a precaution but there were no reports of injuries to any children or staff.

And thousands of dollars of property was stolen and a car crashed into a brick wall during an alleged crime spree at Bendigo Catholic College in regional Victoria yesterday.

The Bendigo Advertiser say police estimate property valued at $20,000 was stolen, including mobile phones, wallets and cash, mostly belonging to staff. Police were last night questioning a 30-year-old woman who allegedly stole the items before fleeing in a car belonging to the school principal's secretary.

Catholic College Bendigo principal Darren McGregor said: "Classes were not affected - most students were not aware anything had happened until after school when they saw the brick wall in the car park had been damaged."

Teacher struck off after affair (The Age 24/2/05)
1500 evacuated after gas leak in western Sydney (Sydney Morning Herald/Australian Associated Press 23/2/05)
Crime Spree (Bendigo Advertiser 24/2/05)

St Joseph's College, Ferntree Gully
Our Lady of the Way Primary, Emu Plains
Catholic College Bendigo

Religious beliefs 'vital in education' (Belfast Telegraph 23/2/05)

24 Feb 2005