A teacher has been banned from the profession for life after telling a boy that being gay is a “disease”.
Joshua Onduso, 50, had been employed by The Reintegration Service in Thatcham, Berkshire, which educates children aged 5-19 who are unable to attend school for medical reasons.
However, he was banned from teaching for life this week – after a misconduct panel heard he had espoused homophobic views.
The Professional conduct panel heard that while teaching in 2015, Mr Onduso “engaged in offensive and/or homophobic dialogue”.
According to the panel, “when asked what he thought about “gay people”, he responded by. saying “gay people have a disease” or words to that effect; [and] pointing to his head and saying “they have something wrong upstairs” or words to that effect.”
It adds: “When asked by a pupil whether he thought “gay people” had a disease, he nodded and/or said yes.
“When asked by a pupil whether he thought “gay people” were like animals, he nodded and/or said yes.”
When later asked to confirm his comments about gay people, he confirmed he had described them as “sick in the head”, which the panel says “demonstrated a lack of tolerance and respect for the rights and/or beliefs of others”.
Making a judgment on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education, Dawn Dandy wrote: “In this case, the panel has found the allegations proven and found that those proven facts amount to unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.
“The panel has made a recommendation to the Secretary of State that Mr Onduso should be the subject of a prohibition order, with no review period.
“The panel finds that the conduct of Mr Onduso fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession.”
It adds: “The panel has observed ‘it is not unreasonable to believe that comments of this nature would have a serious affect on the well-being of pupils’ and that Mr Onduso,
‘failed to act as a role model at all times.’ The panel also noted, ‘Mr Onduso abused his position as a teacher’.
“A prohibition order would therefore prevent such a risk from being present.
I have also taken into account the panel’s comments on insight and remorse which the panel said, ‘Mr Onduso had not demonstrated any remorse and he failed to convince the panel that he understood the seriousness of such action.’
“In my judgement the lack of insight means that there is some risk of the repetition of this behaviour and this risks future pupils’ being exposed to the same behaviour.”
“The panel,’considered that public confidence in the profession could be seriously weakened if conduct displaying openly homophobic behaviours, as found against Mr Onduso, was not treated with due seriousness when regulating the conduct of the profession.’
“The panel further observed ‘the public would expect teachers to encourage pupils to treat every individual with respect and to take a strong stand against homophobic and offensive behaviours’.
“In my view it is necessary to impose a prohibition order in order to maintain public confidence in the profession.”
“This means that Mr Joshua Onduso is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.
“Furthermore, in view of the seriousness of the allegations found proved against him, I have decided that Mr Joshua Onduso shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.”