18C: Accused abandons dreams of being a teacher

18C: Accused abandons dreams of being a teacher, by Hedley Thomas. One of the accused in the QUT computer lab case has abandoned his teaching course because of the accusations.

[Calum Thwaites] had hoped to be sent to teach in remote schools in the far north of Australia on his graduation from the Queensland University of Technology. But this is no longer an option.

“I am sure that some students and parents would go straight to Google and put in my name and read that I’ve been accused of ­racism in this big 18C case,” the 24-year-old told The Australian yesterday. “I can see some saying ‘well, sir is a racist’. I can tell everyone that the case is groundless or that it’s untrue and I hate racism, but people see what they want to see. It’s a much bigger problem for a schoolteacher entrusted with children than it is for a lawyer.”

Mr Thwaites said: “I hear a lot of commentators saying that section 18C is OK because there are safeguards, but they don’t understand the legal process — it can take years, tens of thousands of dollars and cause untold reputational damage and stress to get to a point where you’re found to have done nothing wrong. And while that’s going on, people who know nothing of the case call you a racist.”

The process is the punishment.

hat-tip Stephen Neil