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MBE teacher from North Cestrian Grammar School, Altrincham, guilty of misconduct after streaking naked with pupils
9:30am Wednesday 23rd January 2013 in News
A TEACHER who was presented with an MBE by the Queen has been found guilty of misconduct after streaking naked with pupils on an outward bound school trip.
David Bradley, 55, also undressed in a shower area where children, aged 12 and 13, were naked and on another occasion he hugged a female pupil.
He also presided over a bizarre urinating competition between students from North Cestrian Grammar School, Altrincham, on a camping trip between November 4 and 6, 2011.
The incidents took place when he was in charge of 11 pupils who were staying at the Solwaybank centre in Dumfries and Galloway, in Scotland.
Mr Bradley was awarded an MBE in 2008 for services to young people after running Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes for 30 years.
Last Wednesday (January 16) married Mr Bradley, from Hale Barns, was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct at a Teaching Agency disciplinary hearing in Coventry.
The panel found it was inappropriate for him to streak naked across a field in full view of students.
He admitted he had undressed in front of male students while they showered and sat a male pupil on his knee, but this was ruled not sufficient to amount to misconduct.
Mr Bradley also admitted hugging a female pupil but he was cleared of misconduct when he claimed he held her because he feared she was suffering from hypothermia.
He also admitted asking two boys if they were having a urinating competition before saying 'ready steady go' but this was also ruled not inappropriate behaviour.
An allegation that he suggested giving a pupil a forfeit by putting their bare bottom on the cold grass was found unproven.
Ruling the streaking did amount to misconduct, panel chairman John Pemberton told him: "Teachers have a responsibility to uphold public trust in the profession and to maintain high standards of behaviour within and outside school.
"On this occasion you failed to maintain the appropriate boundaries and appropriate delineation of behaviour that should exist between pupils and teachers.
"We are satisfied that your actions do amount to unprofessional conduct which may bring the profession into disrepute."
During the one-day hearing, Mr Bradley claimed he had been goaded into streaking by several male students while the group camped in a barn.
He told the panel: "The lads had already streaked for a joke and they were saying 'come on sir, you have a go'.
"At that point, for whatever reason I got up, ran down the garden and ran back in. "Even when I did it I thought 'what am I doing'?
At the time and also shortly afterwards I realised it was inappropriate.
"I thought 'what the hell are you doing? I've not done this before why am I doing it now'?"
Mr Bradley, who taught English for 37 years, also admitted he was 'out of date' and said he was 'aghast' that traditional teaching methods were now considered 'frightening'.
He said: "The thing that comes out of this is how out of date I am.
"What is viewed as normal today seems to have gone to a frightening situation where an adult can't be near to a child without being accused of something.
"I'm aghast by it. It almost makes me cross in one sense that these things are being seen as so terribly wrong."
Speaking about the incident where he hugged a female pupil and sat a male pupil on his knee, Mr Bradley said he had been attempting to share body heat and keep them warm.
He said: "They are both regarded as totally standard things to do.
"I believe what I did there was what a caring teacher, what a caring parent, what a caring human being would do.
"To leave a child suffering is just heartless."
John Easton, representing Mr Bradley, said his client was guilty of "a serious error of judgement."
He said: "After 37 years in teaching Mr Bradley made a very serious error of judgement after working a 16 hour day and suffering from fatigue."
After receiving his MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace, he said: "Taking children out into the wilds and encouraging them to push themselves, overcome their self-doubts and play silly games is hardly rocket science.
"In fact, the 50 to 70 days a year I'm away from home are normally just an excuse to have fun and enjoy the animal vitality the young exude."
The panel will decide next month whether he will be struck off the teaching register.