Friday, October 06, 2006

Don't Abuse My Name!

You can abuse my name all you like, but this post is actually about the excellent campaign by Sec Ed http://www.sec-ed.co.uk/cgi-bin/go.pl/campaign/index.html to give teachers accused of all manner of things the right to anonymity in the press. (Just like their accuser usually has)

At the moment pupils can feel free to make up any accusation they wish; knowing full well that the teacher will be thoroughly investigated, hounded by the local press and suspended from their job whilst enquiries take place. There have been cases of teachers having their cars damaged, houses daubed with paint and threats made against them and their families by the local halfwitted vigilante group.

When the whole thing is found to be completely untrue, there is no comeback on the pupil. (And let's face it, 99% of these stories turn out to be absolute rubbish.) The teacher concerned is left with the worry of never knowing just what has been recorded about them and kept on file even when they have been shown to be innocent.

The current situation is an open invitation to disgruntled, bored, troublemaking pupils or ex pupils to seek revenge on any teacher they dislike. (ie the good ones)

Download their A4 poster from the site above and stick it on your noticeboard, preferably on top of the latest idea from SMT.

18 comments:

GateGipsy said...

I agree with this 100 percent. Is it possible for a judge, at the moment, to allow name suppression of the accused if requested?

http://londonandwellington.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I'd not heard of this campaingn before but it's a really good idea.

We had a teacher accused of hitting a pupil last year and he was suspended for a fortnight whilst the police looked into it. Basically one lad accused him and his three friends backed him up.

The kids retracted their stories after the police had interviewed them seperately and shown them all to contradict each other

The teacher however was badly affected by the whole business and was off for ages as he just couldn't face having to come back and teach these same kids. (This is another major problem- no comeback for making false allegations. The Unions didn't do anything)

The kids involved then started to spread the (completely untrue) rumour that the police were checking his computer and digital camera. He is now a shadow of his former self and it makes me fume that no action was taken against the kids.

The current situation is completely biased against the teacher. Thanks for bringing up what is an important and neglected issue.

ParentHelper said...

Last year I was a (volunteer) parent-helper in my child's school. While I was there, I watched a teacher use what I considered to be an entirely inappropriate level of force against a young child. I was considering intervening to ensure the child's safety, but the teacher stopped before I needed to do so. I choose not to do anything further about it (but with hindsight, I wish I had done so). So sometimes (thankfully I'm sure it's very rare), teachers do need to be investigated for their behaviour...

mishima said...

i think you've missed the point a little parent-helper. no-one is suggesting that teachers should be immune from investigation, simply that their identities should be protected up until the point at which they are formally charged. i agree absolutely with the campaign and can see no reason this should not be the case.

mishima said...

sorry, correction to my comment above - it should read
"their identities should be protected up until the point at which they are convicted".

ParentHelper said...

I hadn't missed the point. I agree with and support the campaign. I was just making the related point that, although false accusations do occur, there are also cases where teacher’s actions are inappropriate.

ParentHelper said...

And here's a further thought: If I had intervened, I probably would have done so by arresting the teacher concerned. If I had done that, what would the consequences have been for my child who is still at the school and was not involved in the incident in any way?

andy said...

parent helper: can you tell us more? what exactly did the teacher do that you felt was 'entirely inappopriate'?
for the record, i was regularly caned at school... was it of that order? or something less that that, as i suspect? because i can't say it particularly scarred me, mentally or physically.

sisyphus said...

If/when an allegation of abuse against a teacher turns out to have been a lie - often a small one which grows into a huge one - said teacher may be able to resume his place in the classroom but for tactical reasons (named and shamed in the local rag minutes after the allegations has been made, false accuser remains untroubled by subsequent events in same school) chooses to apply for a job elsewhere. At that moment he/she is effectively unemployable. The Enhanced CRB Disclosure may accurately record "no convictions/cautions" but the Soft Information provided on the back page by the police (usually the pissed off investigating officer who didn't get any easy conviction after all) will describe everything about the accused, if he has any peculiar habits, has hair growing out of his nostrils, ever went to the local swimming pool alone, had any legal saucy mags under the bed when the search team moved in to confiscate his laptop, ever had any unproven allegations made against him in the past, etc., etc. Once a head has read all this salacious stuff, usually written in a deliberately innuendo sort of way, any chance of a job offer will be down the pan.

Anonymous said...

I was accused by a teenage girl of having thrown a book in her face. Complete lie, but the girl in question was a bully and feared by all in her class, so no-one saw anything, of course.

I could not believe the accusation, nor the attitude of the SMT who took the line that if we didn't make a fuss, it wouldn't blow up and with luck, the girl's mother wouldn't find out.

When I said that I was being falsely accused and wanted the girl dealt with, I was told that I could go down that route if I wanted, but was I sure I wanted the publicity and the shame?

Of course I didn't, so had to endure teaching that girl for another 6 months, which was pure hell.

AC said...

Is this a big issue for teachers, or what?! I had a 6th form student 'jokingly' say that the relatively low mark I gave him for a piece of coursework was 'racist' this week. The problem is, I fear that this student may take this up in a more serious way further down the line, to account for his getting the grade that his ability and workrate deserve, rather than what he would like. Should I have done something other than ignore it, which is what I did?

AC

sarah said...

AC: yes. Your should have recorded it in a diary or told someone outside school, preferably a friend who's a lawyer or a doctor or some other professional.
Then, if and when the kid makes a complaint, you're able to at least show that there was a major gap between the initial comment and the complaint.
I wouldn't tell anyone in your SMT because chances are they'll start an immediate investigation.

Ranting Teacher said...

Thanks for highlighting that campaign; I had no idea one existed. I'm sure ours isn't the only school where an innocent teacher has been forced to resign after false allegations tarnished his reputation so much that there was no way he could return to the school. It's a disgrace.

Mick from Manchester said...

I hadn't heard of this campaign either but well done for bringing it up.

It does makes me think; why aren't the Unions or the GTC that robs us of £35 each year; doing anything like this?

What has the teaching profession come to when we are relying on a free magazine and a blogger? (no offence- you're doing a terrific job. Please keep it up)

Anonymous said...

About time too...

Genghis said...

I've lost count of the number of times pupils have made false allegations against me. Usually because I've infringed their sacred human rights to wreck lessons, bully other pupils and staff or insult me. Ocassionally I've had the good fortune to be in a school where at least one or two of SMT have had common sense and a backbone (yes, they are rare but they do exist) but, mostly, I've had to go through a whole quasi-legal pantomime resulting in nothing, absolutely nothing happening to the child when they are revealed as a liar. During the period of so-called investigation I've experienced taunting from the accuser(s) and other children, suspicion from the more naive and/or stupid members of staff and threats from parents.
If anyone is in any doubt about who runs the majority of schools in this country, I can assure you it is the pupils, especially the worst ones.

Quick Home Sale UK said...

Someone should seriously tackle this kind of issue it should be fair for the both sides...

Quick Home Sale UK said...

I just cant get over this site! How come its not updated anymore?