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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?

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

DFE guidelines on the use of reasonable force

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.

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