to think that this teacher should keep his job?

(175 Posts)
kweggie Sat 27-Jul-13 10:35:19

Dean Macfarlane, a teacher,who faced 18 months of abuse from schoolchildren is facing the sack after pushing a boy who spat at him
He became frustrated after being hit with snowballs and said youths had gone into his garden and damaged property. Macfarlane was handed a community order after admitting assault but he fears he may lose job he has had for 34 years at school in Doncaster .
I read this and wondered what had happened to the kids who apparently harrassed him, trespassed and spat at him? What would you say to your children?

HeySoulSister Sat 27-Jul-13 10:38:09

youths?? well how old were they?

i'd ground my lot for life if I found they had done something like that. is there a link? used to go to school in that area

Roshbegosh Sat 27-Jul-13 10:40:45

Disgraceful. No doubt those kids wear asbo's with pride.

ANormalOne Sat 27-Jul-13 10:46:04

Not enough information. How old are the children? What abuse has he been suffering for 18 months? Does he work with these children in his school? How many children are involved?

kali110 Sat 27-Jul-13 10:49:09

Cant make judgement as dont know all facts. I know teachers should know better however kids are now getting ridiculous. They dont seem to have any discipline. School cant discipline the parents cant or dont want to. If my kid had been doing this they would have been grounded for life its just disgraceful. .

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Sat 27-Jul-13 10:50:40

Just googled this (main link is DM sadly) but from other sites it looks like it was an ongoing catalogue of abuse and harrassment that understandably resulted in frustration (which he acknowledges he dealt with inappropriately). I do quite like how the Yorkshire Post says he pushed the boy (12yrs old) into the hedge, whilst the Sun says he threw him!

Was outside his own home, not at school and the boy was shaken but not injured...

Tortington Sat 27-Jul-13 10:55:06

i think that he should have moved schools much before this. he was at fault and despite the provocation he shouldn't have done it

HeySoulSister Sat 27-Jul-13 10:56:34

they weren't kids from his school

they were 12/13 year olds....they prob knew he was a teacher so that may have escalated their grudge

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 10:58:43

No, he shouldn't keep his job. He assaulted a child.

digerd Sat 27-Jul-13 11:01:54

Sounds improbable that he could have thrown a 12 year-old boy into a hedge, meaning lifting him up in the air and throwing. hmm

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 11:03:31

The only fact we have is that he admitted assault and was oven a community order.

He should not keep his job.

ANormalOne Sat 27-Jul-13 11:05:09

Awesome, the Sun and DM, both newspapers which I won't read.

But yeah, I agree with Curlew and Tortington.

kweggie Sat 27-Jul-13 11:40:08

Does it really matter where you have read the story from, ANO?

Whothefuckfarted Sat 27-Jul-13 11:43:11

No, unfortunately I don't think he should keep his job. No matter what happened he is the adult and he should have taken appropriate action to remove himself from the situation.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 11:46:18

It does matter where you read the story- the DM and the Sun have a history of being.........imaginative in their journalism.

noblegiraffe Sat 27-Jul-13 11:52:12

If an adult applying for a teaching job was found to have a charge of assaulting a child on their CRB check, I don't imagine they'd be hired.

beatback Sat 27-Jul-13 11:53:16

Curlew. How do you deal with someone whether it is child or adult who assults you with spitting and throwing snowballs at you. Reasonable force is justified protecting yourself in these circumstances you cant just let a kid whatever age just spit at you.

HeySoulSister Sat 27-Jul-13 11:55:02

he spat at the ground....not at the teacher,the ground.

SirChenjin Sat 27-Jul-13 11:55:49

I think he should keep his job and I think these little shites youths should be in a lot more trouble than they probably are. This followed months of harrassment - I think most people have a breaking point. 12 and 13 years olds should be more aware of their responsibilities, less aware of their rights.

beatback Sat 27-Jul-13 12:04:51

Whether the spit hit him or not it is totally disgusting and the kids are feral SCUM. God knows what they will be like at 17/18 probably DANGEROUS! . I bet the kids PARENTS are threatining to have the Teachers legs BROKEN or something like that.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 12:17:08

Uh-0h, here come the green ink brigade.

SirChenjin Sat 27-Jul-13 12:19:19

Green ink brigade? Don't think so!

If my child spat at someone and got 'pushed' for it, I would not press charges. That's all I'm saying.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 12:53:17

Neither would I- if that's what actually happened.

But the fact remains that he assaulted a child. You can't carry on being a teacher if you've assaulted a child.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 13:03:19


"i think that he should have moved schools much before this."

So the victim should move 0_o

"he was at fault and despite the provocation he shouldn't have done it"

After 18 months of abuse he was at fault, I hope that you never have to put up with harassment and abuse.

RatUpADrainpipe Sat 27-Jul-13 13:09:35

Well, kids these days can dish out all sorts of harassment and bullying etc. etc. and nothing will happen. But if the person being bullied DARES snap, then all hell lets loose, and HE/SHE gets into trouble

Anyone who says he deserves what he got has never been harassed or bullied for a long time !

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 13:13:15

Where are people getting the facts of this case from?

NameThatTuna Sat 27-Jul-13 13:31:44

The thing is, this happened outside his home. This didn't happen in a school. It's an unwritten rule that being harrassed by pupils is part of the job (it shouldnt be, but we all know it happens)

This harrassment was directed at him for over a year, and would have continued. How many people live in misery in their own home because they are bullied and harrassed by kids/teenagers and nothing is ever done because they are kids. It can be hell having that on a daily basis.

He retaliated through the stress of it, was a mistake but understandable. Should he lose his job? No of course not.

What about those kids that have harrassed him? They get of with a verbal warning, he's lived with the misery of it and lost his job.

He is more innocent than they are.

All these excuses 'but they are children' excuses their behaviour and the problem continues....

NoComet Sat 27-Jul-13 13:40:29

If a child over 10 spits at an adult or trespasses on their property to cause damage, not retrieve a football, I don't give a monkeys if they are pushed into a hedge.

We are far too tolerant of low level yobish behaviour.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 13:42:48

"Where are people getting the facts of this case from?"

So some people learnt nothing from the Fiona Pilkington case, its very sad.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 13:45:23

""Where are people getting the facts of this case from?"

So some people learnt nothing from the Fiona Pilkington case, its very sad."

Can I ask how that answers the question?

Eyesunderarock Sat 27-Jul-13 13:49:22

South and West Yorkshire have had a long spate of antisocial behaviour from many of their children and young adults, from Jordan Sheard burning a teenager with Asperger's to death on his birthday, to murder of children by children and houses set on fire with occupants.
MacFarlane must have felt that nothing was ever going to change, and that there was nothing he could do. I wonder if he reported the behaviour and how many times?

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 13:49:35

People disbelieved her until she took her own life and the life of her daughter.

whatever "facts" that you feel are missing, all of the papers state that he suffered a sustained period of abuse for 18 month.

Eyesunderarock Sat 27-Jul-13 13:49:55

It's on the BBC website, and in several online papers.

Eyesunderarock Sat 27-Jul-13 13:51:14
curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 15:07:25

I'm not disbelieving him and I think what's happened to him is awful.

But he admitted assaulting a child and was given a community order. So he can't carry on being a teacher.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 15:13:12

Would you say the same if the child was 18?

Personally I don't see what the abusers age has to do with anything, If this man loses his job then the abuser wins.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 15:18:45

Why did he admit the assault? What did the magistrate say?

BabyMakesMyEyesGoSleepy Sat 27-Jul-13 15:19:57

Yes what he did was wrong but I think he reached his limit. My sympathaties lie with him.

GibberTheMonkey Sat 27-Jul-13 15:27:39

Mine too

beatback Sat 27-Jul-13 15:29:46

What would happen if a 13 yearold Boy/Girl went up to a Teacher in a Classroom and spat all over the Teacher ? Is the teacher supposed to say "SIT DOWN AND GET ON WITH YOUR WORK" and is not allowed to use any kind of reasonable force to deal with a totally unacceptable incident. The only way to stop this kind of incident is with some kind of force and the people, who think there are other ways of stopping/dealing with these incidents whether from adults or kids have been fortunate to never have been in this kind of situation.

GreenShadow Sat 27-Jul-13 15:30:51

I would prefer my children to be taught by someone who can keep control of the class. If this includes preventing children from assaulting both him and the other children, then all well and good.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 15:33:21

There are two different issues here.

It is completely understandable that he lost his cool and pushed this kid.

However, he has a conviction for assault on a child.and can therefore not be a teacher.

Does anyone know what the magistrate said about the case?

kilmuir Sat 27-Jul-13 15:36:17


INeedALieIn Sat 27-Jul-13 15:36:36

From what I have read I would be very happy for him to teach my children. I

would not like them to be taught by teachers who have to put up with low level, constant disruptive bullying of teachers by pupils as the teacher feels unable to deal with or hault the behaviour.

This shift in power from teacher to children causes more harm in the longrun to all parties.

MidniteScribbler Sat 27-Jul-13 15:38:20

He should lose his job due to the criminal record. I can't imagine there is any head who would allow a teacher to remain on staff with a crime against children on his record. The fallout would be enormous.

But that doesn't mean I think he should be charged in the first place. A natural reaction to someone spitting at you would be to try and avoid the spit landing on you in the first place. I can easily see how he could have shoved the kid away to avoid potential biological hazard in a highly volotile situation. There is an element of self preservation in that, which most people would do.

The law (and the parents of these little criminals) has failed to protect this man from ongoing harassment and abuse. Sadly, he'll now be the one to pay for it.

beatback Sat 27-Jul-13 15:39:11

He might have a Conviction for Assault on a Child but the law is an ASS more now than ever. It seems to look after "The Clients" anyone in the legal profesion will know what that means.

beatback Sat 27-Jul-13 15:43:39

Being spat at is many times worse than being hit! It is the most vile sub Human thing anyone can do to someone. It is far worse than being hit.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 15:44:25


I agree that he will probably never teach again, What I don't believe is that this was a fair outcome.

foodtech Sat 27-Jul-13 15:44:29

Haha greenshadow I would love to see you in charge of some of my s3 classes last thing on a Friday. I have excellent behaviour management and have still had tables thrown at me. How you would prevent 15 yr olds from doing what they want I would love to know especially 20 of them.

beatback Sat 27-Jul-13 15:46:02

Sorry i repeated myself!

GreenShadow Sat 27-Jul-13 15:46:50

Wish I knew too foodtech. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that there is an answer.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 15:52:03

Why did he admit to the assault? What did the magistrate say?

beatback Sat 27-Jul-13 15:54:34

Greenshadow. Well you could start with the Teacher having the right for reasonable force to protect themselves/students and discipline within the classroom " I am not saying CORPARAL PUNISHMENT" just to let the Teacher/Teachers, they dont need to worry about the prospect of losing thier jobs by reacting in a correct and reasoned manner when dealing with unacceptable incidents.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 15:56:19

What's reasonable force?

beatback Sat 27-Jul-13 15:58:07

Maybe he admitted the assault so he didn"t have to go to Crown Court and dont laugh risk a "CUSTIODIAL SENTENCE" because you bet the idiots at the C.P.S could/might push for one.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 15:59:01

"Why did he admit to the assault? What did the magistrate say?"

We don't know that he did admit to assaulting anyone.

And I have no Idea what the magistrate said.

Both are details that have been left out.

Viviennemary Sat 27-Jul-13 15:59:51

I agree that he should have moved schools long before things escalated to this level. Not sure whether he should lose his job or not. Probably in a sensible world not.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 16:01:07

"What's reasonable force?"

I have know idea, but would you risk your career on it?

(actually I do know what reasonable force is in a classroom, but its 2 years old and I wouldn't risk my career on it)

blueemerald Sat 27-Jul-13 16:01:37

I work in an EDB school (students are all statemented for behavioural difficulties and alike). Violence towards staff can happen several times a lesson (from very agressive swearing/threats ['I'm going to shoot you in the cunt'] to pushing, hitting, kicking etc) but spitting is still unusual because it really is crossing a line, even for students with difficulty controlling their behaviour.

Would I push a teenager who spat at me out of my classroom? Yes. Would my SLT punish me? No.

I really feel for the guy, perhaps he should have contested the charge.

SarahAndFuck Sat 27-Jul-13 16:01:49

If the details in the story are true, no I don't think he should lose his job.

He has been tormented for a year and a half.

He was hit in the face twice by these boys.

One of them spat at him.

Spitting at someone deliberately is classed as assault.

So if this is correct, they had targeted him for months and assaulted him three times that day before he pushed the boy.

I wouldn't be happy if this were my child who was pushed, but I'd be far less happy to find out my child had been tormenting a man for so long, thrown things in his face and then spat at him.

We live opposite a school whose pupils are aged eleven and over. We had a lot of problems with them throwing snowballs at windows and cars this winter.

Some of them made a point of targeting an elderly neighbour who is in poor health and this culminated with his window being smashed. He spent some of the coldest days of the year with a board over his window because he couldn't afford to replace the whole window and the glazier said the wood wasn't in good enough condition to replace just one pane.

It could have killed him, living like that, and I doubt the kids who broke the window thought about that or cared.

I don't have much sympathy for the boy this teacher pushed.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 16:02:09


"I agree that he should have moved schools long before things escalated to this level."

Why? surely the police should have put and end to it long before then.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 27-Jul-13 16:02:35

I really feel for this bloke. Children seem to be able to get away with anything.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 16:05:24

"We don't know that he did admit to assaulting anyone. "

I thought it said in the reports that he did.

So we actually have no facts at all. We don't know what happened in court. All we know for sure is that he was given a community order for assaulting a child.

SarahAndFuck Sat 27-Jul-13 16:05:26

I don't think the boys are pupils of his are they?

He teaches in Doncaster and lives in Barnsley. If they were living nearby they are unlikely to be current students of his.

Perhaps former ones?

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 16:08:03


By that logic, MN and any public discussion is pointless.

beatback Sat 27-Jul-13 16:10:54

What is reasonable force. Thats why the Dept of Education need to draft up rules and regulations about what kind of force is appropriate to each type of situation. Its all to obvious to me who is not a professional in any sector that professionals see reasons why they cant have protection for themselves. Its just plain stupid not to have guidelines from the Dept of Education stipulating what reasonable force is.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 27-Jul-13 16:13:20

The boy who was pushed won't be traumatised by this, I'm sure.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 16:14:04

Teachers are allowed to use physical restraint to prevent a child hurting themselves or other people. And to defend themselves.

MidniteScribbler Sat 27-Jul-13 16:14:07

What's reasonable force?

In the classroom, we can take certain actions when it comes to protecting students. We are permitted to intervene to protect other students (in the case of a fight, or a student attempting to hurt another either bodily or with an implement), and in fact, duty of care requires that we do so.

The criteria of reasonable is always going to be open to interpretation, but you could consider the act of physically stepping between two students to break up a fight, or removing an weapon (or an object being used as one) from the hand of a student who is attempting to hurt someone. Aside from the law, the UN convention of rights of the child states that punishment must uphold a person's dignity. So you could take a knife out a child's hand to prevent them hurting another, but you cannot then tie that child to a chair. First preference is always to evacuate the room/area and wait for the child's caregiver, or in more extreme cases the police, to arrive, however, if a child is attempting to harm themselves, it would not be unreasonable to physically restrain them, say by putting your arms around their body to hold their arms still.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 16:16:14
BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 16:19:09

this is what the DFE says about reasonable forces it is made pointless by the first word in the second line on the first page.

The word ADVICE makes the whole thing completely pointless.

but as for what is the advice reasonable force for teachers
"What is reasonable force?
1. The term ‘reasonable force’ covers the broad range of actions used by most teachers at some point in their career that involve a degree of physical contact with pupils.
2. Force is usually used either to control or restrain. This can range from guiding a pupil to safety by the arm through to more extreme circumstances such as breaking up a fight or where a student needs to be restrained to prevent violence or injury.
3. ‘Reasonable in the circumstances’ means using no more force than is needed.
4. As mentioned above, schools generally use force to control pupils and to restrain them. Control means either passive physical contact, such as standing between pupils or blocking a pupil's path, or active physical contact such as leading a pupil by the arm out of a classroom.
5. Restraint means to hold back physically or to bring a pupil under control. It is typically used in more extreme circumstances, for example when two pupils are fighting and refuse to separate without physical intervention.
6. School staff should always try to avoid acting in a way that might cause injury, but in extreme cases it may not always be possible to avoid injuring the pupil."

Again I wouldn't risk my career on it.

Theexisapsychocunt Sat 27-Jul-13 16:20:15

He should never have been prosecuted - poor guy.

He will never keep his job and possibly he will lose his pension.

He pleaded guilty out of fear of a prison sentence.

Its a travesty of justice.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 27-Jul-13 16:23:35

Yes I think I agree with all of that.

beatback Sat 27-Jul-13 16:26:09

Thanks Curlew for that link. It seems to me he used "Reasonable Force" in pushing a Child/Adult attacking him with spit away, therefore protecting himself from being spat on and how did he know that the kid was not then going to pull out a weapon and attack him.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 16:26:21

"He pleaded guilty out of fear of a prison sentence."

Ah- now we're getting somewhere. Can you link to this, please?

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 16:33:19


Why are you so interested in vilifying the man? and not those that abused him for 18 months?

Theexisapsychocunt Sat 27-Jul-13 16:33:45

Sorry that was an educated guess - he will have been told the maximum potential sentence and then what he would get with a guilty plea.

beatback Sat 27-Jul-13 16:37:41

I did not say this happened, but you can bet when he saw a "Solictor" he would have asked whats the worst case and when the Solictor says 3 months Custody because the Court will say because you are a Teacher you should have more control and responsabilty. Or if you plead Guilty to the Magistrate a £500-£1000 fine "What would you do".

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 16:37:47

I'm not vilifying him- I've said repeatedly that what happened to him is crap. But I am also saying that he has a conviction for assault, and therefore cannot be a teacher. Before I say that is unfair, or a miscarriage of justice, I want to know exactly what happened. Which we don't know.

He is a teacher, so an educated, intelligent man. He presumably had advice. So why did he admit assault?

Theexisapsychocunt Sat 27-Jul-13 16:40:59

If a child of mine was responsible for this sort of behaviour you can be Damn sure they'd not get sympathy from me - but some people will excuse their children anything

MidniteScribbler Sat 27-Jul-13 16:41:18

He is a teacher, so an educated, intelligent man. He presumably had advice. So why did he admit assault?

I can imagine that after eighteen months of ongoing harassment that he would be so worn down that he would just want the whole thing to be over and to make it all go away. That may not be the right way to go about it, but I can understand the sheer mental exhaustion of it all.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 16:43:13

you might as well ask (given the circumstance surrounding this) why the CPS bothered to prosecute.

Just because he had advice doesn't mean that it was any good.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 16:45:03

"you might as well ask (given the circumstance surrounding this) why the CPS bothered to prosecute."

Absolutely. I do ask that. Can anyone answer?

beatback Sat 27-Jul-13 16:45:16

Jury"s are not made up of 12 good men and true and some of them are Totally thick and disintrested in the case they are trying. It can be pot luck in CROWN COURT especially with these kind of cases. The Teacher must be 55 or so. If he went to Crown Court how long would it take for the case to come round "ALL THAT WORRY AND STRESS" or get it over now and get on with your life.

Theexisapsychocunt Sat 27-Jul-13 16:46:58

Regardless of advice I have no doubt the idea of a prison sentence is terrifying to your average law abiding citizen - never mind one who has been subjected to ongoing harassment.

Plus finding yourself facing a prosecution for retaliating
To your abuser will shake your faith in the system your trusted to protect you - he would have been reeling from the abuse, from being charged by the "government" and the system itself.

Its one of the little known side effects when a rape/abuse claim falls apart, a report is not actioned, a bot guilty verdict is reached - up until that point you believe the government is there to protect you and then you realise no one gives a fuck.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 16:47:13

He is a teacher, so an educated, intelligent man.
Lets not forget that he was also vulnerable man and as such an easy target.

Theexisapsychocunt Sat 27-Jul-13 16:49:03

He may be educated but gut wrenching fear has no respect for education

NameThatTuna Sat 27-Jul-13 16:49:55

Does it say anywhere who reported him to the police?

If it was the parent of the boy, they are just as guilty of this harrassment as the child is.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 16:59:04

It could well be the policemen that attended the incident, (if the bloke reported it)

Floggingmolly Sat 27-Jul-13 17:00:21

Being pushed into a hedge after spitting at someone unprovoked hardly constitutes assault.
It does legally, obviously. But after 18 months continual harassment?
The kid got off bloody lightly, IMO.
I'd be beside myself with shame if any of those feral little animals were my children.

MidniteScribbler Sat 27-Jul-13 17:01:22

Can I also add that, as a teacher, we spend a lot of time justifying our actions, good and bad. When you're hauled over the coals because a first grader has run up, grabbed your hand as they walk in to class and tells you about their weekend, a parent sees it and assumes you're doing something unsavory. Or you take a pair of scissors out of the hand of a child who is threatening to stab his classmate and you then have to justify why you did it.

So when you've had eighteen months of harassment and abuse, you give the little turd who is trying to spit on you a shove out of the way, and the next thing you're in front of a judge, then yes, I can see why he's finally had enough and just wants it all over with.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 17:06:32

"Being pushed into a hedge after spitting at someone unprovoked hardly constitutes assault."

Which is why it is odd that he was charged......

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 17:07:27

"When you're hauled over the coals because a first grader has run up, grabbed your hand as they walk in to class and tells you about their weekend, a parent sees it and assumes you're doing something unsavory"

Please could you give more details of this incident?

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 17:10:04

If it is taken as a single incident then it is not hard to understand why he was charged.

But then which is easier to get a conviction for
a single assault on a child or a sustained campaign of harassment?

its not that hard a question

Eyesunderarock Sat 27-Jul-13 17:11:36

He knows it was an error of judgement, and he knows how harshly he'll be judged. And that he has no defence.
I once broke up a fight between two 11 year olds, both of whom were taller than me and outweighed me. I was 6 months pregnant and stepped between them with my hands out to block the one running at the other. Then he hit me, I sidestepped, he kept going and fell over walloping his nose and his shoulder on the furniture.
There was an investigation. If I hadn't had the parents on my side, in a very tough school, I'd perhaps have faced losing my job too. The parents ensured that the aggressor told the truth about what had happened.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 17:12:16

I presume the problem was that the child he pushed was not one of the children who were harassing him?

Theexisapsychocunt Sat 27-Jul-13 17:12:41

I expect he "admitted it" straight away so they had the "evidence" to charge - what I don't understand is how this met the public interest test.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 17:14:03


that is probably all that happened. A child happy to see her teacher and the parent takes it out or proportion.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 17:17:39

It was details of the "hauling over the coals" that I was interested in.......

Eyesunderarock Sat 27-Jul-13 17:20:06

The problem is that he responded physically to a 12 year old, and the proof that they had not been involved in any of the harassment was the other child saying 'It wasn't me'
Because the harassment wasn't taken seriously, then there will be no evidence to match and prove who is telling the truth.
One set of parents I knew had CCTV installed to record the continuous persecution they were receiving as the police didn't think it serious. It was used in evidence when the sons of the house chased off the gang with baseball bats and were accused of assault. The CCTV footage resulted in them having a caution instead of a sentence.

MidniteScribbler Sat 27-Jul-13 17:21:08

Please could you give more details of this incident?

8:25 am - Children arriving at school on the first day back after holidays, and congregating outside their classrooms, storing bags, kissing parents goodbye. Teachers talking to parents, organising students, telling children their shoelaces undone, make sure you've got your water bottle, have you brought back your permission slip, etc, etc. Children begin entering the classroom. A bit like herding cats. First grader runs up to her teacher, slips her hand in the teachers hand and says "Guess what Ms X!! I went to Seaworld this weekend and got to pat a dolphin!". Teacher says "wow, that's great, S. Can you tell the class about it in talk time today?" and directs student to go to their seat. Handholding of approximately 20 seconds. Another parent complains to the principal that teacher was inappropriately touching a student. Teacher then required to write a report about the "incident" to justify why child was in physical contact with teacher.

Theexisapsychocunt Sat 27-Jul-13 17:22:06

eyes disgraceful they even had a caution as even that will show under enhanced crb as I understand it

beatback Sat 27-Jul-13 17:22:57

The same as a "petrol station Cashier being very insultating to my Father and refusing to appoligise. I picked up a"Biro" and Thew it at the counter out of fustration. it bounced of the counter and hit him softly he made a total meal of it, the 20year old kid. 3 days later i am Charged with Common Assualt and I accept a caution having my D.N.A taken interviewed under caution. iIwas totally amazed and upset by the whole process, some of the questions i was asked were bizare. So i would undoubtedly do excatly the same in his circumstances and plead "GUILTY" at Magistrates Court.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 17:23:18

"I presume the problem was that the child he pushed was not one of the children who were harassing him?"

I would love to know how you came to this assumption.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 17:25:10

So, bonkers parent complained. Because the Head was not actually present, the teacher concerned was asked to explain what happened. Head could not automatically tell bonkers parent that she was being bonkers because she was not actually present.

A bit different from teacher being "hauled over the coals"!

Eyesunderarock Sat 27-Jul-13 17:26:04

Because the child said he didn't do anything, Boney.
All the proof anyone needs isn't it? Pearls of truth from the lips of a frightened innocent?

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 17:26:55

""I presume the problem was that the child he pushed was not one of the children who were harassing him?"

I would love to know how you came to this assumption."

It seems the only possible explanation for him being charged.......

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 17:27:54


You do realise that the "incident" will be permanently linked to the teachers record?

Eyesunderarock Sat 27-Jul-13 17:27:59

Bonkers parents are the main reason why some teachers hold off physical contact of any sort with any child. The fact that you have to justify hand holding, initiated by a child in a public area.

MidniteScribbler Sat 27-Jul-13 17:30:39

Well when the teacher concerned had to spend approximately twelve hours in meetings with head, complaining parent, parent of hand holding child (who had no complaint themselves and did witness the incident), other staff were called in and quizzed about the teacher and asked about "worrying behaviour"), teacher required to attend a six hour training course on their own (unpaid) time and at their own cost, teacher spent two weeks writing report about incident until it was done to heads satisfaction, teacher given a formal warning to "be aware of children who may make physical contact" and on her permanent record.

Yes, I think that was "hauled over the coals".

(This was not me by the way, but a colleague of mine. It practically destroyed her and an excellent teacher almost gave up her career because of it.)

kweggie Sat 27-Jul-13 17:33:43

I feel really sorry for him and sorrier still that the system does not support the victim, which is what he was. I doubt very much that the youths involved have lost ANY sleep over any of this. The way I see it, not only have they been anti-social, offensive and aggressive, they have got away with it and their victim is suffering even more as a result of his reaction to their behaviour. Pushed /thrown into a hedge? Kids do this and worse to one another all the time. What a mad world we live in.

Theexisapsychocunt Sat 27-Jul-13 17:34:57

Ridiculous Midnight and also so sad - no one give a child a hug and a bit of comfort anymore.

Like you will ever "openly" see a paedophile doing anything.

For the second time today I say this government is too scared to let us know how close to home most abuse happens so they encourage paranoia to give us the illusion of safety when what they actually need to do is properly resource the relevant services.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 17:37:08

The hand holding incident would not have been dealt with like that in an English school.

Floggingmolly Sat 27-Jul-13 17:37:35

If the parent themselves had no problem with the handholding, that should surely have been the end of it?? shock
Since when do we get to raise issues concerning other people's children that their own parents have no problem with (outside of parental abuse, obviously)? Hard to believe this particular busybody was taken seriously.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 17:38:50

And, for what it's worth, I don't think it would have been handled like that an American school either- I suspect the story has grown in the telling.

Eyesunderarock Sat 27-Jul-13 17:39:01

First grade?

MidniteScribbler Sat 27-Jul-13 17:39:25

Bonkers parent had very deep pockets and had paid for a large portion of new school hall. Head had no backbone.

MidniteScribbler Sat 27-Jul-13 17:40:14

Australian school Eyes.

Eyesunderarock Sat 27-Jul-13 17:40:56

curlew, I've had decades working in the school system in this country and one think I will never underestimate is the level of paranoia some parents are capable of, and the endless trouble that can ensue.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 17:41:02

"Ridiculous Midnight and also so sad - no one give a child a hug and a bit of comfort anymore."

They do, you know.

ratbagcatbag Sat 27-Jul-13 17:41:28

Yes this teacher should keep his job. Parents of said brats should have more of an idea what their kids are up too and deal with them. How sad that the teaching profession may lose a good teacher over this.

Floggingmolly Sat 27-Jul-13 17:42:26

Btw, both the teachers and TA's have been known to hug the kids at our school; when the little ones are upset, when they've handed over an end of term gift, etc., always in front of all the other children, mind you.
Maybe they are leaving themselves open to allegations, but nobody has ever voiced any concerns. It certainly doesn't bother me.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 17:42:53

"curlew, I've had decades working in the school system in this country and one think I will never underestimate is the level of paranoia some parents are capable of, and the endless trouble that can ensue."

Agreed. However, I will never underestimate the extent to which some of the press will misreport, make up and twist stories.

Eyesunderarock Sat 27-Jul-13 17:44:13

Yes we do, but it depends on the school climate, intake and the attitude of the SLT as to how often and how spontaneously some staff make contact with children.
H&S gorn mad, but parents initiated the changes and the way that it has snowballed. Children are most likely to be abused by a relative, but parents don't want to see that as an issue.

Theexisapsychocunt Sat 27-Jul-13 17:45:10

Since when do we get to raise issues concerning other people's children that their own parents have no problem with (outside of parental abuse, obviously)? Hard to believe this particular busybody was taken seriously.

We all have a responsibility to report suspected abuse.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 17:48:40

"Hard to believe this particular busybody was taken seriously."

Yep. Very hard.

It wouldn't have happened like that in England, if that's any consolation.

meddie Sat 27-Jul-13 17:49:48

I feel so sorry for him. 34 years to the teaching profession and these utterly vile kids torment him for 18 months until the point where he snaps and pushes one into a hedge and yet ultimately he is the one who is punished. This just sends out the message that kids are untouchable and can do whatever the fuck they want without fear.
I doubt for a minute whether they will even feel a hint of remorse for potentially costing this man his career and pension he has worked so hard for.

Yes he's the adult, but where was his protection? where was his right to go about his life without constant harassment?
Its crazy. Unfortunately asking kids like this nicely to stop their abuse towards him would only be met with derision and an increase in the tormenting, they know the system, they know that they can get away with it. He must have felt utterly helpless to stop it.

Floggingmolly Sat 27-Jul-13 17:50:40

But it was only the loony lady who suspected abuse! The incident occurred in front of the entire class and their parents, including the parents of the child in question. There should have been no question of her being listened to, as she obviously had her own idiotic axe to grind.

Theexisapsychocunt Sat 27-Jul-13 17:55:11

this is the end result

This is the end result of what happens when youths are left with no respect.

I just googled there are countless examples.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 17:55:15

Don't worry, flogginmolly- it probably never happened. Or if it did, there was far more to it than we know.

Theexisapsychocunt Sat 27-Jul-13 17:58:07

And can I add that nothing has been learned from this man's death and gangs continue to torment the local residents (I know the area well).

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 18:03:09

"The hand holding incident would not have been dealt with like that in an English school."

Lol. It is too laugh.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 18:07:03

curlew read Generation F by Winston smith or just googie his blog "Working with the Underclass", it may put some of the stuff that would never happen in England in a different light.

phantomnamechanger Sat 27-Jul-13 18:07:22

poor sod is all I can say really.
I just hope he is not a suicide risk.

feral kids are a huge problem in this country and some parents have no idea at all what their darlings are getting up to, both in and out of school. out of sight out of mind.
the culture is deny & claim victimisation, teacher has it in for my kid, or say poor little X , he just got in with the wrong crowd - when X is the bloody ring leader!

phantomnamechanger Sat 27-Jul-13 18:13:46

as a former teacher, TA and now a parent helper, I can say the hand holding thing is completely OTT and the complaining parent must have had an axe to grind or been off her trolley.

what do you do when a child runs up and hugs you- shove them away?(but then that's assault too!)

I'd far rather my DC were taught by warm hearted friendly teachers than cold stand-offish ones.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 18:16:11

"The hand holding incident would not have been dealt with like that in an English school."

Lol. It is too laugh."


BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 18:34:04

Your post shows a huge level of naivety, I have seen similar levels of investigation when a pupil climbed in through a classroom window at break and the teacher who was inside the classroom had the audacity to stop them.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 18:40:08

Yeah, sure you have.

Did you know they've banned Christmas, too?

Oh, and you're not allowed to drink black coffee?

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 18:49:04

Its a shame that you don't believe curlew but the truth is that I really couldn't give a monkeys whether you believe me or not.

It really is just your naivety shining through.

I'm almost willing to bet that you don't believe that the complaint about inappropriate touching would have gone straight up to a "safeguarding" issue.

Oh and by the way I have a bridge to sell if your interested, only one careful owner.

phantomnamechanger Sat 27-Jul-13 18:49:25

I know of a case where a PITA pupil was put in detention by an NQT for foul and sexually suggestive language. Aside from all the admin of incident reports sent to the tutor for pupil file, issuing detention slips (ripped up by PITA), kid still being a PITA in subsequent lessons etc etc, failing to turn up to first detention, this then involved the deputy head phoning the parent to explain the problem and set up the detention, the head of year collecting the kid from the last lesson of the day to escort them to the detention and the head of dept standing guard on the door to prevent them walking out. They decided to try the window instead - 2nd floor - head of dept then leapt across the room and grabbed the kid who was half out the window by the scruff of the neck FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY - cue screaming and shouting from kid about abuse and I'll have you and all the rest of it. Teacher concerned was in fear of suspension pending full investigation. Thankfully common sense prevailed and it all blew over. But never underestimate the power that pupils actually have over staff, and the trouble is - they know it.

youarewinning Sat 27-Jul-13 19:01:37

I don't think he should lose his job.

He was assaulted and he retaliated in self defence. I defy anyone to stand there and accept being spat at without moving a muscle after 18 months of abuse - just because they work with children

kali110 Sat 27-Jul-13 20:01:32

He shouldnt have put his hand in the child, bug should he have lost his job or got a conviction? No it shouldnt have even of gone to court! Was this guy not even allowed to defend himself?
Problem is these kids know they can do anything because they know they can get away with it! Im disgusted. Disgusted that their parents let them get away with it

kali110 Sat 27-Jul-13 20:03:04

Plus why should he have had to move? This guy was innocent. This country does piss me off sometimes, criminals have more rights than victims.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 27-Jul-13 20:09:01

Perhaps people with less personal and direct experience of this kind of problem are more inclined to be understanding towards the harassers.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 20:31:23

I am not even remotely sympathetic or understanding towards his harassers. They are obviously gits.

That is quite a separate issue from whether or not somebody with a conviction for assaulting a child should be a teacher.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 27-Jul-13 21:01:55

Perhaps I just mean people with less personal and direct experience of this kind of problem who have a sort of naivete as a result about human reactions after 18 months of bullying.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 21:02:25

How can you view the harassment as a separate issue, it is the prime cause for the whole incident.

If they hadn't been harassing him the "child" would never have been pushed.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 21:13:49

OK. We have very few facts. All we know for sure is that he admitted assaulting a child and was given a community order for it.

We know there was harassment. We don't know whether the child he assaulted was part of that. We don't know how far the police were involved, or what the magistrate said about it, or whether the harassment was taken into consideration, or anything. So all we can say for sure is that as he now has a conviction, he can't be a teacher any more. Sad, but true.

babybythesea Sat 27-Jul-13 21:25:02

My family are teachers and as a consequence so are most of our family friends.

I have seen 3 incidents happen to various people:
1) Teacher beaten up in his office by a parent, and pretty badly worked over. Parent was charged, teacher kept at it for a bit but couldn't stand the idea it might happen again and gave up, and moved cities.
2) Teacher accused of hitting child, in a classroom full of children and another TA, all of whom saw nothing. However, teacher was suspended while a 'proper' enquiry was held, with the threat of loss of pension. Teacher came close to breakdown because he was close to retirement (about 3 years away) and was terrified he'd lose the means to live. Proved innocent in a month (yes, 'tis how long it took the formal enquiry to proceed and deliver it's conclusion, despite TA saying from the outset there was no way it happened as she was there). Teacher packed in teaching 6 months later.
3) Almost identical incident to that described by Midnite, except the teacher in this case was persuading a reluctant child into the classroom by holding out her hand and saying "Come on, we've got lots of fun things to do, like painting, today." Parent of another child witnessed and made complaint. Teacher was investigated, although three weeks later was declared 'innocent'. Teacher is still teaching but was under huge stress and is now terrified of putting another foot wrong as it is on her record.

Quite a few are now extremely wary of how they touch children to comfort them etc (and by that I mean whether they hold hands, or offer a quick hug).

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 27-Jul-13 21:26:18

"We don't know whether the child he assaulted was part of that."

Macfarlane said that he was involved,

"he can't be a teacher any more."

if it is decided that it will go to a formal hearing that will be down to the misconduct panel.

As to whether a school will employ someone with that on their CRB is another matter.

babybythesea Sat 27-Jul-13 21:28:31

And now I've realised I didn't put why point 1 was relevant - it was because a child was being obnoxious and teacher was in the process of organising a meeting with the parents to discuss his behaviour after he'd sworn at and taken a swing at another teacher. Parent didn't like the accusation that his son was a thug and set out to prove otherwise....

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 22:14:10

"Macfarlane said that he was involved"

So the word of somebody so stressed out and at the end of his tether that he lost control is now gospel truth? I have a 12 year old. I have sometimes not been able to distinguish him from all the other fair haired 12 year olds in football kit in a match. If there was a gaggle of them and I was frightened and stressed out, I am pretty sure I wouldn't be sure I could pick one out.

Crumbledwalnuts Sat 27-Jul-13 22:29:07

It is really stretching it to say that because you wouldn't recognise your son in a fair haired football team this man could not recognise a boy who had been harassing him for 18 months and was at that moment harassing him.

curlew Sat 27-Jul-13 22:35:39

Crumbledwalnuts- i don't know! That's the point. We have no facts.

I am not particularly enamoured of the the judicial system in this country, but every single time there is a case like this (Tony Martin springs to mind) there is more to it than meets the eye. I am just not prepared to go on what the Daily Mail and The Sun tells me. So I stick to what I actually know until I get more facts.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 28-Jul-13 07:11:05

Oh it's the Daily Mail again. So that's why you hold your point of view.

In the same way that people don't take seriously a DM link, I'm no longer going to take seriously people who object to something because it was in the Daily Mail.

Crumbledwalnuts Sun 28-Jul-13 07:13:53
curlew Sun 28-Jul-13 09:34:15

Well, at least the "We are Barnsley" article has a bit more in it, and isn't the identical syndicated piece the others are!

Seriously, are you really prepared to make judgements based on so few facts? Doesn't it concern you even slightly that a martial arts expert "lost control" even "momentarily" with a 12 year old? Even an obviously repulsive 12 year old?

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 28-Jul-13 09:57:37


That Macfarlane said that the boy was involved is far more believable than the boy saying "it wasn't me".

"are you really prepared to make judgements based on so few facts?"
Only in the same way that you are.

JenaiMorris Sun 28-Jul-13 10:15:09

The comments on that We Are Barnsley link are gold.

curlew Sun 28-Jul-13 10:20:05

I'm not making any judgements at all! That is rather the point!

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 28-Jul-13 10:21:41


the martial arts bit only comes from the comments, it hasn't been mentioned anywhere else in an article (that I have seen) yet you are now posting it as the "Truth"

curlew Sun 28-Jul-13 10:23:48

Sorry- I thought the martial arts thing was in all the reports. If it isn't then I withdraw that reference.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 28-Jul-13 10:43:52


If it wasn't for the harassment that this man has suffered, I would agree (in principle) that a person who assaults a child shouldn't be in a job with children.

What I feel that this case shows us is that each case should be on a case by case basis, taking all of the circumstances in to account.

Theexisapsychocunt Sun 28-Jul-13 10:49:45

I like the comments as well - if you read them this "traumatised" boy and his father turned up at the teachers house and only went to the police when he wouldn't answer the door to them.

The more I read the more sorry I feel for the teacher.

JenaiMorris Sun 28-Jul-13 11:03:41

The family suffered a virile attack at the hands of the teacher's partner apparently <arf>

Catkinsthecatinthehat Sun 28-Jul-13 11:05:40

The comments on that We Are Barnsley link are gold.

They are aren't they? There are lots of former pupils defending the teacher, saying it's completely out of character, he's spent years teaching in tough schools, and was a great educator blah blah. And then there's 'Andy' who insists that the teacher is a martial arts expert, full of rage, and addicted to steroids who headbutted the victim twice (but failed to cause any injury)

Unfortunately for Andy he has to later admit that he's the father of the victim who dropped his kid off near the teacher's house (comment at 17:18) and in his comment at 18:44 indicates that when his kid gets a bit bigger he's going to beat MacFarlane up and will have his dad's full support.

There's also a comment apparently from MacFarlane's next door neighbour (at 23:31) detailing the harassment and which indicates that 'Andy' is actually a policeman.

Roshbegosh Sun 28-Jul-13 11:28:06

Poor bloke trying to educate the we are Barnsley crowd.

BoneyBackJefferson Sun 28-Jul-13 11:43:59

As we are deconstructing the posts from Barnsley.

If "andy" had been preparing the sledge all morning and had only dropped his son off ten minutes previously. Where was the sledge?

rabbitlady Sun 28-Jul-13 11:56:43

you have no idea what it is like to be victimised by pupils acting as a pack of 1000 or more.

it destroys people.

ilovesooty Sun 28-Jul-13 14:12:07

I am just not prepared to go on what the Daily Mail and The Sun tells me

Yet you believe the stuff you posted above about Christmas and black coffee?

ilovesooty Sun 28-Jul-13 14:14:10

Scrap that: I think you might be saying that you don't believe it.

I feel desperately sorry for the teacher. I hope his feral little tormenters rot in hell.

JenaiMorris Sun 28-Jul-13 18:21:34

It was a very well prepared sledge.


Compared to where I live now (NZ), the UK is a terribly rule-bound place. On the occasion I've been back it strikes me again and again just how regulated its society is, and how a necesary skill is being able to negotiate those rules - whether one is buying a pair of shoes, travelling on a train, you name it.

The advantage is that the rules stop some bad stuff happen. The disadvantage is that it kills common sense - an example being that a man can be barred from teaching for life simply for one occasion of shoving a youth into a hedge. That's unjust regardless of what was done to him.

kweggie Wed 31-Jul-13 00:57:00

Toad, I so agree about 'common sense'.

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