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Teachers Accused of Abuse


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I cannot remember the last time the Tories can up with an educational policy I agreed with. However, I agree with this one. This statement is taken from the Conservative Party website.

http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=n...e&obj_id=118065

Shadow Education Secretary Tim Collins has called for anonymity for teachers facing allegations of abuse from school pupils.

And stressing the need to protect teachers from malicious claims, he pointed out that the way they are accused, named and in most cases cleared of abuse results not only constitutes an injustice, but damages discipline in the classroom.

Referring to recent cases which clearly demonstrate the unfairness of the current system - including the acquittal of a Peterborough teaching assistant who was suspended for nine months after a malicious assault accusation, and the Isle of Wight head teacher who tragically committed suicide after allegations of abuse were made against him, Mr Collins said:

"Teachers are harassed, insulted, and attacked every day in our schools. One is assaulted every seven minutes. Yet the scales of justice are weighted terribly against them. If a teacher tries to restrain a violent and disruptive pupil or break up a fight, he may face suspension or even the end of his career. If a child chooses to utter the word 'abuse', the teacher will face a presumption of guilt not innocence - and may find their professional and personal lives utterly ruined."

Mr Collins added: "The vast majority of teachers accused of abuse are subsequently cleared - but the strain and stress involved, which often includes being spat at in the street and having homes and cars attacked, means that the incidence of suicide among teachers facing this vile accusation is alarmingly high. It is hardly surprising in these circumstances that discipline in our schools is declining just as rapidly as stress levels among teachers reaches record highs. How can anyone impose order in our classrooms if they know that any single child uttering one single word could finish their careers?"

The Shadow Minister called for immediate legislation designed to give teachers a statutory guarantee that their anonymity would be preserved, at least until the point when a formal criminal charge is brought in a court of law. He said: "Labour ministers sadly refuse to act on this persistent demand from the teaching unions, choosing instead to rely solely on guidelines from the Association of Chief Police Officers and a voluntary agreement with local newspapers. This will not give teachers remotely the protections they need.

"In the Queen's Speech, the Government introduced several pieces of legislation which could provide the vehicle for this statutory guarantee. If they continue to refuse to act to protect teachers from this most damaging and frightening position, the next Conservative Government will do so in our very first Queen's Speech as part of our Teacher Protection Bill."

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  • 1 month later...

This is a hot topic in Texas and the teachers are on the losing side of the argument. The assumption is that the teacher is always guilty and even when proved innocent, they still suffer great indignities and most often have lost their teacher credentials.

In Texas if a student attacks a teacher the school can not suspend the student nor punish them. If they attack the teacher again then they can be suspended for three days, but allowed to make up their work as it is an excused absence.

The only option a teacher has is to go to the legal authorities and file an assult charge against the student. While this may take of the student for a time, the teacher may lose their job for filing the charge without the schools permission.

In todays society all of the ills of the public school system is laid at the feet of the instructors.

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That is amazing - that a child has to assault a tecaher a second time before they can be punishes. it beggars belief.

Here in Australia, things are not probably quite as bad as the UK but we are getting a few cases. Luckily we are able to press charges fairly easily, but the biggest barrier to that is often the management of the school who prefer to keep things quiet and side with the parent. A colleague of mine was deliberately and heavily punched in the breast by a large Yr 6 boy. The principal's response was that i) if she had been a better teacher it wouldn't have happened and ii) the boy just needed more love and attention. It is this sort of attitude from management that causes many of the problems - parents see that they can get away with having bad kids, and nothing will happen to them because SMT want to keep school's reputation intact in order to attract " clients". When Head's had more power and parents accepted the authority of schools and schools weren't competitive market places, there was less of it.

Like you, I didn't think I'd agree with a Tory proposal, but I do with this one.

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  • 6 months later...
I cannot remember the last time the Tories can up with an educational policy I agreed with. However, I agree with this one. This statement is taken from the Conservative Party website.

http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=n...e&obj_id=118065

Shadow Education Secretary Tim Collins has called for anonymity for teachers facing allegations of abuse from school pupils.

And stressing the need to protect teachers from malicious claims, he pointed out that the way they are accused, named and in most cases cleared of abuse results not only constitutes an injustice, but damages discipline in the classroom.

Referring to recent cases which clearly demonstrate the unfairness of the current system - including the acquittal of a Peterborough teaching assistant who was suspended for nine months after a malicious assault accusation, and the Isle of Wight head teacher who tragically committed suicide after allegations of abuse were made against him, Mr Collins said:

"Teachers are harassed, insulted, and attacked every day in our schools. One is assaulted every seven minutes. Yet the scales of justice are weighted terribly against them. If a teacher tries to restrain a violent and disruptive pupil or break up a fight, he may face suspension or even the end of his career. If a child chooses to utter the word 'abuse', the teacher will face a presumption of guilt not innocence - and may find their professional and personal lives utterly ruined."

Mr Collins added: "The vast majority of teachers accused of abuse are subsequently cleared - but the strain and stress involved, which often includes being spat at in the street and having homes and cars attacked, means that the incidence of suicide among teachers facing this vile accusation is alarmingly high. It is hardly surprising in these circumstances that discipline in our schools is declining just as rapidly as stress levels among teachers reaches record highs. How can anyone impose order in our classrooms if they know that any single child uttering one single word could finish their careers?"

The Shadow Minister called for immediate legislation designed to give teachers a statutory guarantee that their anonymity would be preserved, at least until the point when a formal criminal charge is brought in a court of law. He said: "Labour ministers sadly refuse to act on this persistent demand from the teaching unions, choosing instead to rely solely on guidelines from the Association of Chief Police Officers and a voluntary agreement with local newspapers. This will not give teachers remotely the protections they need.

"In the Queen's Speech, the Government introduced several pieces of legislation which could provide the vehicle for this statutory guarantee. If they continue to refuse to act to protect teachers from this most damaging and frightening position, the next Conservative Government will do so in our very first Queen's Speech as part of our Teacher Protection Bill."

Many allegations relate to circumstances which have no malicious actor. The police often have some empathy with the teachers they investigate.

The UK does not really maintain a database of allegations. There are current plans to deliver a vetting system based on convictions and allegations.

If teachers in the United Kingdom were to get anonymous status, a campaign in the United States to attach reporting criteria in relation to transfers of criminal intelligence by the FBI would be the inevitable result.

The United Kingdom has horrendous examples of teachers being acquitted in circumstances which defy belief.

There is little possibility of anonymous status because child protection advocacy has made it clear to the govt. the idea is entirely unacceptable.

British advocates have 'fighter cover' in the shape of experts in Washington DC who are a little suspicious about levels of educator misconduct in the UK.

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This is a hot topic in Texas and the teachers are on the losing side of the argument. The assumption is that the teacher is always guilty and even when proved innocent, they still suffer great indignities and most often have lost their teacher credentials.

In Texas if a student attacks a teacher the school can not suspend the student nor punish them. If they attack the teacher again then they can be suspended for three days, but allowed to make up their work as it is an excused absence.

The only option a teacher has is to go to the legal authorities and file an assult charge against the student. While this may take of the student for a time, the teacher may lose their job for filing the charge without the schools permission.

In todays society all of the ills of the public school system is laid at the feet of the instructors.

It is possible some prosecutions are a little zealous. In Texas it is a feather in the cap of law enforcement to get a teacher.

In the UK if a student rapes a teacher it is guaranteed to be front page news, if a teacher uses a child for sex it is page 8.

To make the front pages of the British print media the sexual abuse narrative has to be fairly bizarre or particularly vile.

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