The 24-year-old teacher who expressed his love for a young student in a three-page handwritten letter and showered her with gifts learns of her fate.
- Nicolás Latella banned from teaching
- I was at Como High School in Perth.
- Found to have engaged in serious misconduct with a student
A young teacher has been banned from the classroom for more than a year after writing a three-page letter expressing his feelings to a student he repeatedly called his ‘favorite’.
Nicholas Latella, 24, had taught at Como High School in Perth but was found to have failed to maintain professional boundaries with a high school student.
He asked to meet the girl outside school hours and gave her two pairs of earrings and a stuffed animal.
His career was ultimately halted when the Western Australian Teachers’ Registration Board received a complaint from the Department of Education in March 2021 alleging that Mr. Latella had engaged in serious misconduct.
After further investigation, a State Administrative Court determined this month that Mr. Latella was unfit to work as a teacher, and barred him from applying for registration for 16 months.
Nicholas Latella, 24, had taught at Como Secondary College (pictured), in Perth, but was found to have failed to maintain professional boundaries with a high school student.
The court heard that in November 2020, the student was disappointed after not receiving a leadership position at the school.
After comforting the girl, Mr. Latella asked her to write him a letter explaining what happened and what it meant to her.
“He also suggested that they ‘hang out’ after she graduated from school and have ‘bubble tea’ and the student’s friend could also ‘hang out’ with them,” the court’s findings read. .
The student explained what happened to the position in a letter, saying she thought of Mr. Latella as a brother.
Mr. Latella then responded with his own handwritten letter, but told the student not to tell anyone about the note.
“The student was ‘disturbed’ by this and saw it as a ‘significant red flag,'” the court concluded.
The teacher had expressed his feelings to the student in the three-page letter, telling her that she was his favorite and that he would ‘make an amazing brother’ to her.
The student was emotionally distraught by the letter.
During that same year, Mr. Latella showered her with gifts and told her on numerous occasions that she was his favorite.
The couple did not meet nor did Mr. Latella contact her outside of school hours.
Mr. Latella faced court on March 2 and admitted that he committed serious misconduct that registered him as unfit to be a teacher.
He voluntarily canceled his teaching registration in November 2021.
The inappropriate behavior was found to have occurred at a time when Mr Latella was “experiencing difficulties” in his personal life and was receiving counselling.
“Mr. Latella expressed remorse and demonstrated some level of insight in his behavior,” the findings concluded.