Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Keep Your Hair On!

I can't quite understand this case. Did the Council really sack him for being bald? Is he suing them because his hair has fallen out as a result of teaching? Or is he just stark raving mad?

Either way; if I had been the judge, I would have been unable to resist the temptation to insert the phrase: 'Hair today, gone tomorrow ' into my summing-up speech.

Mind you, I suppose that's why I'm not a judge.

The real problem here, which is hidden underneath all the lunacy; is that so many schools have lost all concept of discipline so the kids feel free to openly abuse the staff to their faces, for the simple reason that they know that nothing will happen to them.

A simple comparison- when I was a kid, we had a bald teacher at school who everyone made fun of. However, only behind his back or when he wasn't looking; for the simple reason that had he caught you, he would have caned/ whacked you with a slipper or ruler/ given you 1000 lines or put you in detention for a month whilst you carefully copied out half a textbook.

It makes you realise just how far we've fallen.


Anonymous said...

I would imagine that those children merely used the most obvious 'difference' to taunt this man; with others they might shout fatty, spotty or spekky. Would they count as 'disabilities' ?

He should have dealt with it or ignored it.

AndrewM said...

Get over it, slaphead.

Anonymous said...

Surely he made it an issue himself. I had plenty of teachers at school who we used to tease as pupils and believe me they gave as good as they got. If teachers show weakness children always pick up on it, that hasn't changed in decades. It's how you deal with it after that, that really matters. Teachers need to be able to stick up for themselves in a reasonable way, my gads if a teacher of mine reacted like that while I was at school they wouldn't have lasted five minutes either. How do you get your pupils to respect you when you clearly don't respect yourself.

I'm only 25 years old so I didn't go to school in an ideal age where all children were respectful and did as they were told. We were all gits, we were disrespectful at times but we knew where to draw the line. This was because we had teachers we admired and the expulsion system still worked.

That man needs to grow up and the education system needs to grow a new pair.

AnneDroid said...

I once flirted with the idea of becoming a teacher. In the end I took the MUCH less scary path of going to work in jail where I am treated with great courtesy and good manners at all times by the prisoners (while they lie their heads off).

Anyway, I did go as far as going for an interview to do the Scottish Certificate in Secondary Education and the interviewers made it very plain that you would have to be very secure about your appearance because your fatness, thinness, big nosedness, redhairedness, specs, whatever would not go unnoticed or uncommented upon. I assume this poor guy trained before such warnings were handed out at the kick off of your career...

Incidentally I now want to repent (seriously) of joining in the calling of a teacher Concorde, when I was 7, due to her big hook nose. And I'm truly sorry, Fat Woods, though I don't think I called you that to your face. I know I didn't because I'm still alive.

S Jamieson said...

Its Denny High School- have you ever been to Denny? Douce commuter suburb for Edinburgh or Glasgow it is not. Denny H/S is a co-ed comp: it always was- any kids with any ability in the area went to Falkirk High School or the High School of Stirling(before they were destroyed by comprehensive education in the very early 70s)

My recollection of Denny and its quaint but inaccurately named suburb of Bonnybridge is that the boys were skinheads anyway.

The question is that if a class was taunting a teacher (and by his picture he does not look like someone you would like to cross anyway), what was the Rector doing?

A bit younger he could have followed the example of the Maths Teacher at Castlemilk Secondary in Glasgow. He disappeared one day without explanation. To everyone's surprise he turned up five years later asking for his old job back. Where had he been- he'd joined the Foreign Legion, served five years in there and left with an honourable discharge.

Now think of it, the school should have snapped him up. Not only did he have Maths skills but now spoke fluent (but probably profane) French and no scrote was going to **** around with a former legionaire.
No one in Denny or Glasgow would have called him baldy

Lilyofthefield said...

anonymous, I think you are confusing respect with fear. I started school in 1959 and we would never have dreamt of calling names to any adult, never mind one who might have known your parents or was within board-rubber-throwing distance. It was nothing to do with respect and everything to do with the certainty, the inevitability, of physically painful retribution being visited upon you.

Sarah P said...

lilyofthefield - I don't ever remember being afraid of my teachers I just remember thinking they deserved respect because they were teachers. That is probably a very rare view today especially from teenagers but I think it's because all my Junior school teachers were wonderful so I immediately thought all my senior school teachers were as well. They of course weren't hence the teasing that went on but I never lost that sense of respect, even today I wouldn't be able to see an old teacher without calling them sir or miss, it would seem rude to refer to them any other way.

(apologies for the anonymous posting, clicked the wrong option)

Fiz said...

Teachers were big scary people when I was at school! We got ruler-ed, board erasers thrown at us, the famous command "Robert, the plimsoll, please!" from our headmaster to the largest boy in school ( he was lovely and no-one called him names, either)whose mother seemed to have the knack of buying extra springy plimsolls and were much dreaded by the more subversive elements in school! My French teacher, if we got too loud, had the evil habit of running her very long nails down the blackboard, reducing the rest of the class to begging for mercy. She just stood there, smiling! (I still love you, Mrs Pike and STAGGS!)

Mark UKCFR said...

Silly bogger should have taken another route if he couldn't hack it - secondary sex discrimination (as he appears to be suffereing from male pattern baldness).

Whilst the pupils may indeed be jail-fodder of the future, he's old enough and ugly enough to have developed thick skin. Having said that, he should still have had serious backing from senior staff.

Mind you, I reckon lillyofthefield is way out about respect. I too started school in the Dark Ages (1958) and we had nicknames for most of the teachers by the time we were 7. Miss Muir becme Miss Manure and Mrs Bagshaw became "baggy pants", for instance.

The only person who definitely escaped was Mr Charles Laughton (yes, that WAS his name!). He was fearsome - but one of the two best teachers I've ever had (well three if you count my foundation maths tutor at the OU). He was an artillery sergeant during WW2 and had a voice to match. We went into his class dreading the experience but most of us thought he was great by the time we left. yes, he would cane (and hard!) but not for poor work unless you were dishonest about it. He had real presence, and the kids responded.

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