Sacked Teacher Wins Payout

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Leeds's picture
Leeds
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Sacked Teacher Wins Payout

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/03/22/teacher-deborah-ellis-sacking...

Am I alone in thinking that there must be more to this story?  If the facts are as reported, it seems to me to be a truly bizarre decision in the first place.

Briefly, a six year old boy refused to enter the school building at the end of break.  A sex pest was known to have been operating in the area.  Two teachers decided that it was not safe to leave the child alone in the playground, so picked him up under the arms and returned him to his class. The boy's mother had no complaints with this.  This was picked up on CCTV, and the teachers were suspended.

Maybe I have missed the point, but I can't see what else the teachers could have done.  Irrespective of the potential sex pest, I don't think a six year old should be left alone, unsupervised, in a playground.  If one of the teachers stayed with him, then the rest of her class would be without a teacher during this period. If persuasion wasn't working, I can't see what other option they had.

And, presumably, the school has been paying for the services of these teachers during the period of suspension (and rightly so, imo), whilst at the same time being two teachers down.  It just doesn't make sense to me.

sparkledust's picture
sparkledust
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These things rarely do Leeds.
xx

Leeds's picture
Leeds
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I know, Sparkle.  I read stuff, and think that there must be so much more to this than we are being told.  It just doesn't make sense otherwise.

I "work ," albeit as a volunteer, in a school and I had no idea that you weren't meant to pick children up!  I mean, in the 6 years I have been there I have never had occasion to do so and can't, in all honesty, think of an occasion when I would, but it would never occur to me that  it was wrong.

And I would much prefer my 6 year old to be picked up and taken into school, than left outside in the playground.

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I agree completely Leeds, there's absolutely more to this than we're given. If it's a case of keeping a child safe, teacher's have a duty to do what they need to do, surely?

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And you do wonder that the boy's parents didn't complain ...........  If it were my DD, I would be grateful that someone had carried her in.  As, I presume, this boy's were.

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Ummbintaini
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When I was a teacher, we were categoricallly told that there isn't any rule about zero physical contact with pupils, and that it is allowed in cases where the teacher feels that it's necessary in order to protect any child or adult or even the school property (e.g. restraining a pupil who is attacking others or vandalising school property).  As a general rule, teachers avoid physical contact with pupils, and physical discipline certainly isn't allowed, but contact is where it's necessary.  In this situation it sounds like it was 100% necessary and the teachers involved made absolutely the right decision to use it.  

It does sound very dodgy that the teachers were sacked over this, it makes you wonder what on earth the people who made this decision were up to.  I also find it very wrong that they described the act as "physical and emotional abuse" because it very clearly is not (although you could argue that had the teachers left the child unsupervised in the classroom that would have been neglect!) and quite frankly the misuse of the term "abuse" like this really disturbs me because it trivialises the term, and then when you speak about kids being physically or emotionally abused, people don't listen.  Or they think that you're also misusing the word "abuse" and talking about something trivial.

I also find it very sad that the deputy headteacher involved has said she doesn't want to go back into teaching again in the near future.  A good teacher who made a good call in a difficult situation seems to have been hounded out of the profession.  That's not right.