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To think that this physics teacher should be reinstated

(43 Posts)
ReallyTired Wed 05-Feb-14 14:42:28

Richard West is the sort of mad scientists that schools need to make physics exciting. Its unfortunate that a child got hit with an air rifle pelet, but the child was not seriously hurt and there is always an element of risk with any practical experiment.

If Mr West does not get reinstated I hope he comes and work at my son's school.

Faverolles Wed 05-Feb-14 14:50:20

He may be an amazing teacher, and thinks outside the box, but doesn't shooting a gun in a room show a severe lack of judgement on his part?

WooWooOwl Wed 05-Feb-14 14:50:50

How lovely that he's getting so much support from his students! I know it's a sad story overall, but teenagers going to that much effort for one of their teachers is really heartwarming.

territt Wed 05-Feb-14 14:56:39

air rifle not a Gun..... I think any time a teacher can get a child engaged in science should be encouraged.

Changebagsandgladrags Wed 05-Feb-14 15:09:54

My physics teacher electrocuted himself once.

ladymariner Wed 05-Feb-14 15:11:18

Mine set himself on fire with a Bunsen burner!! grin

FreakinScaryCaaw Wed 05-Feb-14 15:15:12

Aww I didn't hear about that. I've 'liked' the FB page though. Hope he gets reinstated soon?

FreakinScaryCaaw Wed 05-Feb-14 15:15:44

2 of my science teachers were just total purves.

AlpacaLypse Wed 05-Feb-14 15:47:19

I've signed it and shared it.

BBC have picked the story up now.

pixiepotter Wed 05-Feb-14 15:49:04

are guns allowed in schools? NO .Complete lack of judgment to bring it in.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Wed 05-Feb-14 15:49:48

Peter or Libby, Freakin?

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 05-Feb-14 15:50:51

Mine made thermite, the stuff that can't be extinguished once it's started burning. He gleefully said, "they wouldn't let me do this in the UK". British teacher abroad... We loved him and I agree that this teacher should be reinstated. I bet he has more future engineers in his class than most.

Ohwhatfuckeryisthis Wed 05-Feb-14 15:52:48

If he thought outside of the box he could demonstrate the principle without using guns but still in a "fun" way. Guns have no place in school.

bigbluebus Wed 05-Feb-14 15:56:29

I was all in favour of reinstating this teacher - but then Michael Gove made some comment to the effect that we need more mad scientists teaching science. I couldn't possibly share an opinion with Michael Gove.

DS is doing A level sciences and thinks this teacher should be re-instated. His Physics teacher has been an inspiration to him (legend was the word he used to describe him in GCSE years) although he has never fired an air rifle in class, I think he does other wacky things.

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 05-Feb-14 15:57:41

The use of pellet guns in physics experiments is not banned, although you need to follow procedures.

Thermite isn't banned either - I've done it in the UK.

Goldmandra Wed 05-Feb-14 16:03:39

Was he sacked because he used a gun or because he failed to follow the correct procedures?

I see no reason why an air gun can't be in school. The pupil had no significant injury because the gun isn't that powerful.

However, teachers do need to work within the guidelines set out to keep children safe. If he didn't do that it's appropriate for him to be sanctioned.

If it was his first offence it seems harsh to sack him.

We had a substitute physics teacher for a term when our teacher was on maternity leave. He would use bigger and bigger chunks of whatever element he was working with to create huge explosions and fire - we loved him. Then he got removed because he did an experiment with sound waves that made one kid lose consciousness and several others lose bowel control. We remember him 17 years on so he must have done something right - I can't even remember the main teacher's name.

YouTheCat Wed 05-Feb-14 16:08:23

We had a science teacher who managed to blow up a bell jar and a glass screen when doing an experiment with hydrogen. Funniest thing ever.

She also regularly walked through cupboard doors instead of classroom ones and got locked in and fell for it every time we put the clock forward 10 minutes. grin

She was brilliant and everyone was really sad when she retired.

This teacher should be reinstated. There are too many bland teachers, who never deviate from the book.

Taz1212 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:19:37

I think he should be reinstated. Our chemistry teacher was completely mad, utterly bonkers and I daren't say what went on in our labs grin and we absolutely adored him. He had a PhD and had made a small fortune with some invention and chose to spend his middle life onwards teaching high school chemistry!

Stinklebell Wed 05-Feb-14 16:26:34

We had an amazing science teacher as well, he once destroyed his classroom by bringing a goat in, set himself on fire on a regular basis, singed his eyebrows off, I think the final straw was destroying the ceiling tiles in the classroom with an experiment that went wrong and the resultant explosion was a bit bigger than he expected

He was replaced with a teacher who just read out the contents of a text book while we wrote sat and wrote it down.

soul2000 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:45:32

I have no doubt Richard West is a "Brilliant " and dedicated teacher, but by
bringing any "Fire Arm " in to school, he has done something where there are no excuses. You either have to be incredible naive to undertake a "Fire Arms" experiment in a classroom , or a "Thrill Seeker" who is prepared to put students health at risk.

Richard West though should eventually be allowed back in to a classroom
when he has learned not to put students at risk, though his enthusiasm for his subject.

Goldmandra Wed 05-Feb-14 16:49:36

One of our science teachers forgot to put the lid back on the box of magnesium strip before setting fire to a bit. Some of the sparks hit a pupil and it set fire to a fire blanket, filled the labs with fumes and trashed a whole day's teaching. Not that we minded what with all the fireman who came rushing to our aid and being an all girls school.

I don't remember any suggestion of her being sacked but I imagine she got quite a bollocking.

Air rifle....gun.....what's the difference. DH has air rifles, they are dangerous and could easily kill someone.

I would not be happy about DS being in a class where the teacher feels it is appropriate to bring a rifle in - it smacks of stupidity and extreme lack of judgement!

*Richard West though should eventually be allowed back in to a classroom
when he has learned not to put students at risk, though his enthusiasm for his subject* - yes I agree with this......but he needs to learn a very harsh lesson.

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 05-Feb-14 16:56:17

Stinklebell - bringing a goat in? That's genius. (makes plans.....)

cardibach Wed 05-Feb-14 16:57:53

My Physics teacher fired an air rifle in lesson. I am 49, so this was in the late 70s/early 80s. He, too, missed the correct target but hit the wall rather than one of us. He then tried again and we did a really good experiment about velocity/momentum and it is the only physics lesson I have any recollection of at all. There was no comeback. It was accepted as a reasonable thing to do. Why have things changed so much?

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