Teacher suspended after grooming charges
A teacher accused of grooming a child and exposing him to an “indecent picture” has been officially suspended from the profession.
Chelsea Jane Edwards, 28, was charged in March with two counts of grooming and one count of indecent treatment of a child under 16 following an investigation by police into the alleged offences last year.
The Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) – the state’s registration body for teachers – suspended Ms Edwards’ registration on March 13, three days after she was charged.
Her registration was not due to expire until 2026.
The QCT website states a teacher’s registration or eligibility to teach can be suspended if they are charged with a serious criminal offence.
“If an approved teacher is charged with a serious offence the QCT must suspend the teacher’s registration or permission to teach once notified about the charge,” the college says.
“For a serious offence suspension the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) must review the continuation of the suspension to decide whether the teacher’s case is exceptional in which case it may be ended provided the best interests of children are served.
Ms Edwards taught at Indooroopilly State High School in Brisbane and was the school’s sports co-ordinator, according to their website.
Police were contacted in February in relation to the alleged offences and an investigation was launched.
Ms Edwards, who lives in Paradise Point on the Gold Coast, was formally charged on March 10.
She was granted strict bail in March and ordered to hand over her passport to police.
Police allege in court documents Ms Edwards engaged in conduct with the intent to “procure” the child to engage in a sexual act in Queensland between July 7 and September 14, 2022.
It is further alleged she “wilfully exposed” the child to an indecent photo on a date in September.
In a statement, the Department of Education said in March the “safety and wellbeing of students” was their highest priority.
“The Department acknowledges that the allegations are serious and upsetting for all involved,” the spokeswoman said.
“We have been providing extensive wraparound support to the school community in question, and we will continue to do so.”