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Guardian story - teacher has resigned :-(

164 replies

auntyspan · 07/11/2007 16:00

I'm so furious. Someone who used to teach me has had to resign due to a scuffle involving a year eleven lad. The pupil apparently called him something racist and shoved him and when the teacher pushed him back he fell over, and consequently it's classed as an assault.

I'm appalled that a teacher of his calibre, experience and principals has had to resign. This kid has been in stacks of trouble, is a known trouble-maker and a bully, and is laughing about the fact he got a teacher 'sacked'.

This teacher is exactly the decent type of teacher I want teaching my kids - good disciplinarion and someone who genuinely cares about the kids. A rash moment has ruined his career.

very cross at the moment.

OP posts:
Saturn74 · 07/11/2007 16:02

Could you do a link pls?

christie1 · 07/11/2007 16:46

It sounds wrong to me, the original push from the student was the assault, the teacher's push back could be classed as self defence if the student if the teacher felt threatened that he might be pushed again. It can be argued that he was the teacher and had an obligation to use restraint but if the teacher felt he was in danger of being assaulted again, he should have been able to push away his attacker. (I am a criminal lawyer so speak with some authority on this...depends on the facts really). IF I were the teacher I would march down to the police and lay a complaint of assault against the student. REally, they shouldn't have to put up with this.

Blandmum · 07/11/2007 16:51

Im afraid that all too often teachers get 'punished' for the poor behaviour of the kids.

I've known parents demading that the police were pulled in when a teacher was accused of 'assaulting' their child. When the truth came out, that it in fact was the child who assaulted the teacher, where the police involved? No. Did the parents appologise for the false allegation, no. Was the child expelled, no.

auntyspan · 18/11/2007 15:35

Just come back to this - link here

OP posts:
Eliza2 · 18/11/2007 22:06

I read about this and was so sorry for this teacher.

spellbound · 18/11/2007 22:58

This is the kind of scenario that disgusts me. I'm a teacher and I've seen colleagues sworn at, pushed, shoved and even hit with a chair and what happens to the kid? Maybe a fixed term exclusion for a few days and then they're straight back in. This teacher sounds like he was excellent at his job, is remembered by ex students as a brilliant role model and now he has had to resign. Honestly makes me despair. I wish the unions were more proactive in bringing criminal charges in cases where pupils assault teachers. And the cases like martianbishop describes where a pupil makes a false allegation - well, IMO the police should prosecute the pupil and the parents.

Upwind · 18/11/2007 23:13

Quite. What is the logic behind allowing pupils to abuse and assault their teachers?

Who thinks this does the pupils any favours? Apart from depriving their classmates of an education it does not exactly make the perpetrators suited to holding down a job or making any kind of contribution to society.

Lucycat · 19/11/2007 17:29

Quite a few of the teachers at my school know him well. It's ridiculous.

Bessie123 · 19/11/2007 17:37

Oh, you lot are always obsessed with how evil pupils are and how the teachers are always right. He resigned after his boss saw the CCTV footage - the evidence must have shown him doing something wrong. Why did he hit the boy around the head anyway?

southeastastra · 19/11/2007 17:41

grim, poor bloke

CaptainUnderpants · 19/11/2007 17:58

Hitting boy round head and dragging him ??

fair enough a push back after he had been pushed but 'reasonable force' comes to mind.

people in authority have to have some restraint otherwise they have to face the consequences.

now if that was policeman hitting someone round the head and dragging them afetr being shoved and being verbally abused then people would be crying 'excessive force used etc etc'

same thing applies here I would say.

Kathyisa6incheshighmummy2007 · 19/11/2007 18:04

If he snapped and used excessive force then that is clearly wrong, but police have sanctions against people who are abusive and violent towards them while as far as I can see teachers are just expected to stand there and take it.
We seem to have gone from a situation where teachers could wield physical power unchecked, to the opposite extreme, where a single slip can ruin a career even after extreme provocation. There's an imbalance of power now.

Saturn74 · 19/11/2007 18:05

I see you point, CaptainUnderpants, but police officers are trained to deal with these sorts of situations.

Teachers shouldn't have to be, but the sad truth is that they need to be.

Have read the link, and it seems such a shame that a man's career has been ruined because of it.

I'm not sure I would be able to be the model of restraint if a 15-year old boy assaulted me and swore at me in a school corridor.

Blandmum · 19/11/2007 18:10

And teachers can be under horrible levels of stress and abuse on a daily basis, with their managers and the rest of society turing a blind eye and expecting them to get on with it.

In the end, teachers are only human.

I am reminded of the teenager who set up a web site on bebo' Do you hate her, do you want to kill her' about one of his teachers. He was expelled but the school governors overturned the expulsion and said he had to come back to the school. It wasn't until the teacher and the kids threatened to go on strike that the situation was resolved.

CaptainUnderpants · 19/11/2007 18:20

what is wrong with the teacher himself
making a stand and complaint - do they always have to do what the Union and school says ?

Perhaps teachers need to make a stand themselves if schools and unions will not back them up, they have every right to make a complaint about someone who assaults them whether it be in a school corridor or in the street.

Blandmum · 19/11/2007 18:24

You can try. It gets to be very tough if you do so against the wishes of your senior management.

I've worked with teacher who have been asaulted by kids (and we are talking big secondary school boys here, not littlies) and they are expected to take them back into classes.

There have been the most ghastly cases; a young teacher was raped by one of her students. He had a previous record of sexual assault, but she and the rest of the staff were never informed.

I can accept that the teacher should have acted as he did. But some staff are under crazy levels of stress, and there is very often little or nothing you can do that will not make matters worse for you

CaptainUnderpants · 19/11/2007 18:26

Every member of the public has 'sanctions' when people assault them or are racist or verbally absuice towards them - Offences Against the Persons Act and Public Order Act, you dont have to be in a certain profession to have 'protection' from these type of people.

the teacher has every right to pursue a complaint if he wishes

CaptainUnderpants · 19/11/2007 18:29

Ok a toss up between lossing your career over an allegation like this or having a bit of a tough time with senior management for a while - know which one I would choose.

If more teachers made stand by themselves as they obviuosly dont get the backing from their managment or union then perhaps things may improve.

If they are assault they have a right to make a complaint like nay other person.

If teachers dont make 'offical ' complaints to police then the true records of incidents like this will never be known .

Blandmum · 19/11/2007 18:36

Yes, they have every right to persue a complaint, but they will have to go up against their own management to do so.

If they are already feeling like seven shades of shit because of the way they have been treated by the kids, they may well not have the stamina to follow through.

As I said, teacher are only human.

some data from 2004, and these are reported incidents, not the hushed up ones

'Health and Safety Executive also indicate that twice as many teachers suffered such severe injuries that they needed to be resuscitated or kept in hospital.

Violent assaults by pupils on school staff rose by a third last year despite attempts to clamp down on poor behaviour. The number of teachers in England who had to take at least three days off work because of attacks increased from 205 in 2003 to 272 in 2004.

Figures calculated by the Health and Safety Executive also indicate that twice as many teachers suffered such severe injuries that they needed to be resuscitated or kept in hospital.

They also show the number of teachers with major injuries, including amputations, fractures and dislocated joints, doubled from 27 to 55.

The executive?s figures mostly represent injuries to teachers and classroom assistants but include attacks on a handful of other school staff such as school secretaries and caretakers.

Secondary teachers were the most likely to be attacked, followed by secondary teaching assistants, primary assistants and then primary teachers.'

My SIL works with a 7 year old who repeatedly bites and has bitten his LSW so hard that it drew blood. He was taken out of the classrom and allowed to play computer games

CaptainUnderpants · 19/11/2007 18:47

I have every sympathy with teachers and they should not have to put up with assaults neither should nurses ,Doctors, fireman, ambulance crews etc.

You have the Unions , pressure the unions or kick them out and find another that will back you up. Without members then they would be no unions .

Teachers WILL HAVE TO make a stand by themselves if they want any change. They are not the only profession that have stress in their everyday lives .

Society will not change , pupils will not change so teachers mindset will have to if they want incidents like this to stop .

Blandmum · 19/11/2007 19:01

I agree that we are not the only people to be under stress. Thankfully the medical unions are taking a stand. I very much hope that the tyeaching unions do the same.

And wait to see the parents complaining when their child is expelled.

Some parents will never let their children have any consequences of their actions and that is whey 'the pupils wil not change'

Kathyisa6incheshighmummy2007 · 19/11/2007 19:04

I think teachers probably have less redress than members of the public if they are assaulted or racially etc abused, because of a perception that it's part of their job to control a class and if the child is abusive that is somehow their fault. How likely would the police really be to take a complaint seriously if it is a teacher complaining about the behaviour of one of their class? Not to mention the risk that you would be damaging your own career prospects because people would perceive you as someone who couldn't take the heat.

CaptainUnderpants, I'm sure you're right that the solution ought to lie with the unions, but I'm not sure it will, because members of the caring professions are generally pretty crap at industrial action - they're too conscious of the harm it will do all the innocent students if they go on strike

Greensleeves · 19/11/2007 19:08

This is very sad for all concerned. But if it is true that he struck the child across the head before pushing back, then his resignation is the just and proper consequence of his own action. It's not that I have no sympathy for the stress and abuse teachers can be subject to - I have lots of sympathy, it's a very difficult job. But there have to be rules governing the conduct of professional adults in charge of children at school, and hitting a child across the head just can't be overlooked. IMO.

TellusMater · 19/11/2007 19:15

I think Kathy has hit the nail on the head. I think teaching is the one job where if you are assaulted by someone you are working with, your abilities and actions are automatically called into question. And I think that is one reason why teachers are reluctant to report.

In this case, it is hard to know what actually happened. Hitting a pupil is wrong - absolutely and without queation, and disciplinary action should certainly be taken against anyone who does it. Whether it should end a career is another matter.

Greensleeves · 19/11/2007 19:18

If this was a MNer's dh who had lost his rag and hit a child across the head, the thread would be full of horrified reactions a la "there is never any excuse for hitting a child, especially on the head, it's abuse". This is no different IMO. Yes, children (especially teenagers) can be vile and wind us up - but parents and teachers are adults and if they lose their tempers and hit out there are consequences!

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