Disiplining your teacher

Some cases have been in the papers this weekend about teachers accused of assaulting pupils. One of them involved William Stuart, a teacher with an unblemished record of 23 years who was accused of assaulting a 15-year old girl in the corridor at his school.

It’s a classic ‘he says, she says’ case.

The accuser said that Mr Stuart followed her and backed her onto coat pegs before pushing her to the floor. According to Mr Stuart the girl barged into him several times and threw a punch as he tried to block her path. Despite the head teacher of the school deciding that no further action was necessary, five days later the girl’s mother reported the incident to the police and he was arrested and charged.

The case has taken six months to come to court – a period when Mr Stuart could not work and was under extreme stress and suspicion. The case was dismissed by magistrates.

It doesn’t seem fair to me. In other professions the accused would have the right of reply and may not be immediately suspended from their job. In fact, it can be incredibly difficult to get bullying colleagues out of a job.

So why is it so easy to accuse a teacher and get that person suspended?


I must mix in the wrong circles because I don’t meet parents who wouldn’t support a teacher’s discipline. It’s a long way from a teacher misjudging the motives of a child’s bad behaviour to outright abuse of a child. Teachers have to be able to stop children causing damage to themself or hurting others when their behaviour is out of control and yet they are hampered by so many directives about not physically touching children.

There is a campaign to change the law and provide teachers with anonymity until a charge is proven in a court of law. Do you think teachers should be named and shamed before allegations are proved? I’d be interested to hear your views.