Why is it Always the Teacher That Gets Punished?


Should a teacher put his/her hands on a student? Absolutely not. If a student is aggressive with a teacher, does the teacher have a right to retaliate? No way!

But what about the aggressive student? He gets to boast how he helped sack a teacher. We are talking about a teacher who is likely to have a family and a mortgage. A teacher who would find it almost impossible to get another teaching job.

Whenever a teacher receives a punishment for retaliation , the offending student requires an equivalent punishment.

In this case – expulsion!

A teacher was sacked for grabbing a pupil who threw a milkshake over him even though nobody made a complaint about the incident, a tribunal has heard.

After being soaked by the drink and suffering a torrent of abuse from the 16-year-old boy, Robert Cox held the teenager’s arms and pinned him to his chair.

The business studies teacher said he feared the boy was about to throw the chair at him and just seconds after he let the teenager go, the pupil picked up the furniture and threw it across a school canteen.
No complaint was made by the boy or his parents, but the confrontation was captured on CCTV and brought to the attention of school bosses.

Weeks later, governors sacked Mr Cox, claiming his behaviour was to blame because he had “frustrated” the teenager and escalated the incident.

The married father-of-two’s 13-year teaching career has been ended by the episode at Bemrose School in Derby.

The 59-year-old said he had been left “unemployable” and has twice attempted suicide.

He told a tribunal his treatment sent out a worrying message to teachers and pupils and launched a scathing attack on the management of the school.

“In all other public buildings you see posters saying abusive language and behaviour will not be tolerated,” he said.

“That is not the case at Bemrose. Instead, if you act within the school guidelines to protect yourself, to protect other students and to prevent an escalation of the situation, you are penalised.”

Call me naive, but I am very sympathetic to this teacher. Whilst I am very much opposed to his reaction, I too would have been rattled if a student acted like that towards me.

That same student shouldn’t get the satisfaction of staying on at the school. His aggression and unacceptable behaviour is symptomatic of a system which is soft on unruly students and brutal on unsupported teachers.

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