'I don't feel I have had a fair hearing or justice'

20th January 2012 at 00:00
Teacher struck off after he manhandled pupils claims he was really the victim

A teacher struck off after he repeatedly manhandled pupils and yelled at colleagues has maintained that he was the real victim of injustice.

Michael Barile was banned from teaching in Scotland after engaging in aggressive and threatening behaviour which was "unwarranted, excessive and wholly inappropriate".

However, the former Dundee maths teacher, who became a local cause celebre when judges reduced his sentence for assaulting two pupils after extreme provocation, claimed he had done nothing to warrant being struck off.

Announcing its decision after a hearing on Monday, the General Teaching Council for Scotland said it was left "in no doubt that physical contact (against pupils) was unwarranted and excessive" and his treatment of colleagues was "wholly inappropriate".

The GTCS heard details of a string of charges against the 54-year-old relating to his treatment of youngsters and staff at two secondary schools, including that he pulled one pupil by the hair so hard that his chair leg came off the floor, and was so "out of control" that he showered a colleague with spit while shouting at her in front of pupils and other staff.

Leslie Manson, convener of the GTCS disciplinary sub-committee, said Mr Barile's behaviour amounted to an "excessive breach" of the GTCS code of conduct with a "considerable" number of incidents about which he showed "no remorse", and instead went to considerable lengths to "discredit" both schools.

Mr Manson added: "His behaviour was fundamentally incompatible with being a teacher and the only sanction would be his removal from the register."

Emma Gilpin, the solicitor for Dundee City Council, told the committee: "This involved two schools, eight charges and eight separate victims of his behaviour . This was not an isolated incident; it was a pattern of similar incidents over two years .(but) it is clear that he does not believe he did anything wrong."

Speaking after the GTCS gave its decision on Monday, Mr Barile told TESS: "I'm not surprised at all, but I don't feel I have had a fair hearing or justice."

The GTCS ruled that Mr Barile cannot apply to rejoin the register for 12 months. However, he said he had not taught for two years and had "no intention" of returning to the profession.

"I just want to move on with my life now," he added, as he left the hearing on Monday.

Mr Barile was sacked by Dundee City Council after being found guilty of assaulting two boys at Lawside Academy in 2008.

In 2010, appeal judges reduced the original decision from admonishment to "absolute discharge" because his actions resulted from "extreme provocation" by the two teenagers.

The ruling allowed Mr Barile to continue his new career working with Dundee youth and community football charity United For All, of which he is secretary.

He is no longer an associate director at Dundee United FC.

Last year, it emerged that Mr Barile was facing 10 fresh charges over aggressive behaviour towards staff and pupils at Lawside and Madras College in St Andrews.


Track record

2008 - Mr Barile is convicted of assaulting two pupils and sacked by Dundee City Council.

2010 - Appeal judges overturn the original decision from admonishment to absolute discharge in the light of "excessive provocation" by both pupils.

2012 - Mr Barile is struck off the GTCS register.

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