Turning a Blind-Eye to Terrible Teachers

One seldom reads an article about an inspirational teacher, because such things are not considered newsworthy.  You do, however, read about the incompetent teachers who abuse the trust bestowed on them.  Today I read of one such teacher.  A teacher so destructive and irresponsible, one wonders why it took so long to get rid of her:

Roslyn Holloway, who taught at the Lord Silkin Trust Secondary School in Telford, Shrops, threatened to use the bizarre ritual to drown the unnamed student if he didn’t stop misbehaving in class.

In a series of other incidents, the special educational needs teacher tore the hair out of a pupil’s skull after he did not stop talking in class while she also engaged in sexual-based conversation with another.

A General Teaching Council panel was told that she struck another different boy on the forehead with the heel of her hand in the school corridor, referred to him as an “idiot” in front of his classmates and threatened to bang his head on the table.

She was formally cautioned by police for battery, for the hair pulling incident involving one of her students in November 2009, but failed to notify her employers, which breached her employment conditions, even though they were aware of caution.

The assult left the student with a red mark and a lump on his head.

Holloway, who taught students aged 13 at the school from September 2003 until her suspension in January last year, also racially abused other pupils by calling them “black boy”, “Pepsi Max” and “ginge” during class.

I am sympathetic to some of the teachers condemned by the media.  I understand that teaching can be very difficult and I am aware that it is hard to keep ones emotions in check when chaos in the classroom ensues.

But I have no sympathy for this woman if the allegations against her are indeed true.  What I do have, is a very important question:

Why did it take so long for a teacher who transgressed in so many blatant ways to be deregistered?

It is unbelievable how meek the initial response was:

After the parents of two children complained that they had been left “distressed”, she was counselled by her bosses to change her methods, which she failed to heed.

So when you get a spokesperson saying the officials place “the safety, health and welfare of its students first”, I don’t believe them for one second.

As far as I’m concerned, this story isn’t merely about a volatile and unprofessional teacher, it’s about a system that takes too long to respond to serious incidents.  The “blind eye” approach might work in the general workplace, but we are talking about young children here!

More needs to be done to detect such teachers before the damage is insurmountable.


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One Response to “Turning a Blind-Eye to Terrible Teachers”

  1. therottedapple Says:

    Unfortunately, this is all the media likes to focus on. When Education Reform is talked about, the center is around ‘terrible teachers’ and ‘making teachers accountable’.

    While I agree that there are some bad apples that need to go, society needs to understand that most of us are here because we LOVE TO TEACH, and require help and support, not derision and suspicion.

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