Daily Archives: December 20, 2007

Teachers suspended for ‘taunting tied up pupil’

Telegraph | Dec 20, 2007

By Caroline Gammell

Two teachers at a flagship academy school have been suspended after a teenager was tied up with electric cable during a class.

The 16-year-old, who is understood to have a heart problem, was said to have been taunted by one of the adults as he lay on the floor, surrounded by other pupils.

At one point, the teacher leant over him and allegedly said: “Give us a shout when you are ready to start grovelling” before a second teacher finally freed the boy.

The episode, at the £38 million Folkestone Academy in Kent, was captured on a pupil’s mobile phone. The teachers – one named locally as Dave Holland – have been suspended while the incident, which took place on Nov 28, is investigated.

A source at the school said: “It was like something you would expect in Guantanamo Bay or an al-Qa’eda video, but not in a school. The lad involved is an easy target for bullies and he takes more than his fair share of stick.

“The school has made a lot of noise about being tough on bullying and raising standards and this kind of thing just makes a mockery of that.”

The boy was said to be too upset to talk about what happened. A family friend said: “He’s taken the whole thing really badly and it’s shaken him up terribly. His parents have been really pushing for some action to be taken on this, but he just wants the whole thing to go away as he fears being bullied even more.”

The school’s head teacher, John Patterson, said: “I was conscious that the context appeared to be good-humoured, as the children were laughing, and the members of staff were laughing, and the boy was laughing.”

But he added: “The academy sees the alleged behaviour as totally inappropriate and unacceptable within a school. We have suspended the two staff involved while the matter is investigated and have referred the incident to the police and social services.

“We understand that after their initial investigations, the joint team do not intend to take the matter any further and neither do the boy concerned nor his parents wish to dwell further on the matter.”

The school is expected to make further inquiries before any discplinary hearing is held.