Teacher who gave colleagues the finger is struck off

The teacher also ‘broke the trust placed in her’ by discussing a looked-after pupil in a newsagent's

Emma Seith

Banned: A teacher who gave former colleagues the finger has been struck off

A primary teacher who discussed a looked-after pupil in a local newsagent and who gave the finger to two former colleagues when they drove past the car she was in has been struck off.

In January 2016 the teacher – referred to only as "Teacher X" and  a probationer at that time – was overheard discussing a looked-after pupil with another parent in a local newsagent, leading to her school receiving a number of complaints, including from the child's carer.

A General Teaching Council for Scotland fitness-to-teach panel also found that the teacher told a parent that she was being bullied by her headteacher and “acted in a deliberately intimidating fashion towards former colleagues” after she left the school in 2016.

This included raising her middle finger in “an unfriendly and offensive gesture” as two former colleagues drove past her on their way to a fitness class after work and insulting one of the two teachers when she met her out shopping, including saying loudly “look at the fucking state of that”. 

Another former colleague – who become visibly distressed during her evidence to the panel  – said that the teacher had driven past her and stared into her car “for a prolonged period”. She said she had been “terrified” by what had occurred.

Teacher 'acted in intimidating fashion'

The teacher – who joined the teacher induction scheme in 2015 but who faced allegations spanning from 2016 to 2018 – denied the allegations against her, saying the witnesses were either mistaken or had fabricated their evidence to cause trouble for her.

Allegations that the teacher had behaved inappropriately towards a relative in a charity shop, including shouting words to the effect of “fat cow”, “you’re a mink, your mum’s a man and your gran smells” and “your dad is a beast” were found not proven.

The GTCS fitness-to-teach panel concluded that by discussing confidential matters regarding a looked-after child in a public place the teacher had “failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries”.

The document outlining the panel outcome continued: “The panel considered that the expectations on a teacher regarding pupil confidentiality go to the core of maintaining a teacher’s unique position of trust. By failing to respect the confidentiality of the pupil concerned, the teacher had broken the trust placed in her as a teacher and undermined confidence in the teaching profession.”

The panel added that the teacher had “failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries by telling a parent that she was being bullied by the headteacher” and had “acted in a deliberately intimidating fashion towards former colleagues”.

The fitness-to-teach panel concluded that the teacher’s behaviour “fell short of the standards expected of a registered teacher” and determined that the teacher was unfit to teach.

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Emma Seith

Emma Seith

Emma Seith is a reporter for TES Scotland

Find me on Twitter @Emma_Seith

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