A three-time Paralympian and former school principal in Western Australia has been banned from teaching for two years after he was convicted of growing cannabis and stealing.
Dennis Bernard Kennedy, who uses a wheelchair, became the principal at Menzies Community School in 2016.
But on Friday, the State Administrative Tribunal found the 69-year-old was no longer fit to teach because he had been involved in two separate crimes.
Police found 30 cannabis plants on Kennedy’s back porch and 20.9g of dried cannabis plant material inside his home in 2017.
Kennedy said he was “just curious and wanted to see how they would grow”.
He also said he knew they were illegal and he was going to destroy them when they grew bigger.
Kennedy pleaded guilty to cultivating and possessing a prohibited drug, was granted a spent conviction and fined $1500.
In a separate incident, Kennedy used the school credit card to purchase flights and accommodation, totalling $1468, for the school gardener and his wife in 2017.
Kennedy told the gardener it was to thank him for unpaid work, but Kennedy later paid back the money after the Education Department questioned the expenditure.
He pleaded guilty to stealing as a servant, was again granted a spent conviction and fined $600.
The disqualification order was backdated to September 2018, which means Kennedy can reapply to the Teachers Registration Board of WA this year.