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A teacher goes berserk!

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/nottinghamshire/8141581.stm

'Student attacked by teacher in a school'
Parents send their children to schools with trust in its staff. Here's an incident where a physics teacher, who recently had a nervous breakdown, is alledged to have hit a boy with a hangar of weights

We've constantly hear of unruly pupils and assaults on teachers. But do we expect a teacher out of frustration with children in his class to leave one so badly injured?
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    not the right way to react, but i remember how stupid kids can be in school so i understand his frustration... i don't think he should have gone back to work full time if he had had a nervous breakdown. the system is rubbish
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Bet the Education authorities will be under pressure to have a clampdown on school staff with a mental health history now. More persecution of people with this type of illness. It's incidents like this that lead to the general public's misconception of mental illness and people with such illness have a lot of barriers to getting paid employment
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    KiwiFruit wrote: »
    Bet the Education authorities will be under pressure to have a clampdown on school staff with a mental health history now. More persecution of people with this type of illness. It's incidents like this that lead to the general public's misconception of mental illness and people with such illness have a lot of barriers to getting paid employment

    You'll then have them claiming they're being discriminated against. You also have the issue of mental health problems not being the same for everyone - so whilst some people will be ok to teach, others won't.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's probably not my business but I would really be interested to know the actual set of circumstances in what happened. Did he have a vendetta against the student? Or was the student misbehaving and he snapped? Lots of questions like that really. Apparently people were leafleting in support of the teacher outside the school, so it there must be more to it than simply a murderous teacher.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    *shrugs*

    This article is almost worse than useless. It doesn't actually tell us anything about the circumstances in which this happened. Without knowing that, how on earth are we meant to work out whether there was any justification for what happened or whether it was completely wrong?

    Still, not knowing the facts has never stopped anyone else from speculating, so it shan't stop me. What are the bets that we will soon discover that the boy in question was, pardon my French, an unruly little bastard?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I read in the Mirror (always a paper for the solid facts with no guessing or sensationism*) this morning and apparently:

    Girl was being a wiseass litle bitch and told the guy 'fuck off you bald cunt' when he asked her to work then she tore her textbook in two, he kicked her bag across the room with the words 'you damage school property the school damages yours' then the kid he attacked swore at him and he snapped.

    It seems a plausible set of events. I agree with Stargalaxy though, the kid was probably some little gobshite who pushed too far - obviously that doesnt make it ok to beam him on the head with a 2 pound lump of metal - but it was more than likely a provoked attack.




    *Sarcasm detector off scale
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    What are the bets that we will soon discover that the boy in question was, pardon my French, an unruly little bastard?

    There was something on BBC news (or was it Five?) today about the boy swearing at the teacher before the boy got attacked.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    By the sounds of it i dont think it was a calculated attack or anything like that, just a poor teacher having a mental breakdown and losing it.
    I'm friends with a girl who was taught by him when she was at school and has nothing but glowing things to say about him. seems all the pupils he has taught over the years are just really sadened by the whole thing.
    Quite sad that theres mass media coverage really as i would imagine everybody that has any actual involvement in the case would rather play it down and let the people that need help, get it in peace
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Melian wrote: »
    You'll then have them claiming they're being discriminated against. You also have the issue of mental health problems not being the same for everyone - so whilst some people will be ok to teach, others won't.
    Yes, mental illness affects sufferers differently. For some, it can reduce work performance which affects their ability to hold jobs. But to do something silly especially of this magnitude is rare. Then many more people with mild mental heath issues do good jobs and contribute enormously to the national economy.

    Maybe if a teacher got admitted to a psychiatric hospital, there would be more stringent medical checks before this teacher returns to the school. Remember when Ian Huntley, the schoolkeeper, killed two schoolgirls on the premises, afterwards the government made it mandatory for all schools to do regular Criminal Records Bureau checks. Before some schools were laxed and relied on a paper declaration rather than a proper check. The safety and interest of children in schools will be taken more seriously after incidents like this
    icey wrote: »
    Quite sad that theres mass media coverage really as i would imagine everybody that has any actual involvement in the case would rather play it down and let the people that need help, get it in peace
    If it ends in court, which is likely considering the state of the injured student. there will undoubtedly be mammoth press coverage. This mass media sensation is only the beginning. Even if acquitted or convicted but spared from a jail sentence due to the circumstances, this is the end of the teacher's career. I can't imagine any school in the country would want him now
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sounds like some little Nottingham charver cunt got mouthy and the teacher just snapped. The BBC hasn't reported too much, rightly, but other news sources are reporting that the kid was being nasty and aggressive to the teacher, along with the rest of the class.

    Whilst you cannot condone clocking someone around the head with a big lump of metal, it's easy to have quite a lot of sympathy with the teacher.

    I think this has been waiting to happen for a long time, given how little protection teachers are actually given in the classroom. It's pretty much the only profession where the person being bullied is blamed, for being a 'weak teacher', as opposed to the little scumbags that are doing the bullying. If these kids mouth off at coppers like this they find themselves before the court very quickly indeed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    It's pretty much the only profession where the person being bullied is blamed, for being a 'weak teacher', as opposed to the little scumbags that are doing the bullying. If these kids mouth off at coppers like this they find themselves before the court very quickly indeed.

    That's an interesting point
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    Whilst you cannot condone clocking someone around the head with a big lump of metal, it's easy to have quite a lot of sympathy with the teacher.

    apparently it was his first day back after being off with stress/mental breakdown. Teachers have one of the highest suicide rates of any profession. While it is no excuse at all to do what he did, I feel very, very sorry for him. It's incredibly easy to imagine why he just snapped.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    While teachers are suppose to keep their cool and set an example, i can understand his reaction. Kids can gang up and wind up teachers badly, especially if they sense a weakness to work on!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jonny8888 wrote: »
    Kids can gang up and wind up teachers badly, especially if they sense a weakness to work on!
    Nasty children will get their own back by trying to get a teacher the sack. They do so under the 'protection' of teachers having to hold a job and they are 'safe' because of this
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,170 Skive's The Limit
    Gobshite kid or not, he didn't deserve to be twatted roudn the head with a lump of metal. Worth noting too that two other kids, a boy and a girl were also injured by the same teacher.

    Sounds to me like the teacher shouldn't have been back at work, but then it's not always easy to tell who's going to snap and become violent. Not everybody who suffers a breakdown is goign to become violent, but then teaching is one of the most resonsible proffessions there is and there's a lot of stress involved.
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a mystery
    But today is a gift
    That’s why it’s call the present
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    Gobshite kid or not, he didn't deserve to be twatted roudn the head with a lump of metal. Worth noting too that two other kids, a boy and a girl were also injured by the same teacher.

    Sounds to me like the teacher shouldn't have been back at work, but then it's not always easy to tell who's going to snap and become violent. Not everybody who suffers a breakdown is goign to become violent, but then teaching is one of the most resonsible proffessions there is and there's a lot of stress involved.

    In hindsight we can see this teacher returning early from a mental breakdown did something violent. Hundreds of schools across the UK every year have teachers going off sick for mental stress and coming back to work smoothly- this is an isolated incidence when it went dramatically wrong
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    It's probably not my business but I would really be interested to know the actual set of circumstances in what happened. Did he have a vendetta against the student? Or was the student misbehaving and he snapped? Lots of questions like that really. Apparently people were leafleting in support of the teacher outside the school, so it there must be more to it than simply a murderous teacher.

    This actually happened in my town, and some of my friends siblings actually witnessed that attack. I dont know the full ins and out of the whole sitution, but basically hes been seen talking to him-self in corridors, shaking, all-sorts. I've got alot of friends who are supporting Mr Harvey, and lot of friends who have lost all respect for him.

    I personlly think it wasnt the teachr who failed the kids, but it was the school system that failed them, are you telling me that not one teacher didnt see this man talking to him-self or shaking and didnt think it was werid? didnt think to mentioned it, or bring it to someones attention? I know you should be responsible for your actions, but in this case i really dont think you can point the finger at one person. The kids shouldnt have been taunting him, the school system shouldn't have put him back to work, and Mr Harvey should have had more self control over his actions.
  • littlemissylittlemissy knit chick Posts: 9,972
    This also shows the lack of support that teachers get in schools. They have a highly demanding job, a lot have little, or no support from the headteachers and when they come back from stress-related illnesses, there is no support structure in place to help them get back to 'normal'. He would've been expected to go into class, with no additional adult support, and a child would've just pushed his luck.

    Teaching is a shitty job in cases like this. As a teacher, in a school with no behavioural support, a shitty class (I had one child throw a chair at another pupil and was told to 'deal with it') I can sympathise with this teacher. And I am mentally stable.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I see it from both sides every day. My day to day police work is in secondary schools and I always see the lack of respect teachers get from some of the more unruly kids. Schools often don't have the funds to give these kids alternative provision so they're force to expel them (costing the school around £4000 per child) or keep them in the class.

    I'm lucky, my job demands respect, kids who don't show it me when I'm trying to teach them get chucked out with a flea in their ear, I'm not under any obligation to single them out for any special attention.

    I think funding for pastoral support in schools should be greatly increased, leave teaching to the teachers and discipline to specially trained staff.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My mum who is a teaching assistant was pretty shocked by this and said 'back in her day' the teacher was still allowed to use a cane and no student would dare speak out against the teacher.

    Whilst I am not an advocate for violence like the cane, I really do think the power needs to be brought back into the teacher-student relationship. I did some work on power in my first year and I'm by no means an expert but it's a really interesting area. With coercion no longer an option there must be emphasis on charisma i believe (since it's unlikely we'll start paying students :p and teachers already hold expertise and legitimacy).

    So we need to find ways to make our teachers likeable. It's not enough for them to know the subject, etc. Although perhaps working on the culture in schools to formalise the relationship between student and staff further as it seems many students do not adhere to this and a culture in any organisation is implicit so something that needs a lot of effort and direction to change. 50 years ago if a teacher walked into a classroom, the students would be silent and stand to attention. That is respect and is not gained simply by rules on the wall or anything like that, but by an ingrained culture that needs to be nurtured and developed.

    Today the culture is partially one of showmanship where students may or may not see school as a playground, but this low level disruption can spread dissent as it were and undermine a teachers authority in the classroom. I've seen teachers 'snap' and bang rulers on tables loudly etc. and the response of some students was one of laughter.

    I think that's pretty much exactly what could have happened in this situation. But teachers have no power to control students, they can't expel them if they are misbehaving (the school loses the funding for the student if they do that), they can't reward them for doing well beyond gold stickers etc., they essentially have their hands tied behind their backs. Whilst being taunted by some students.

    I think if there is work to change the culture and the power teachers have who aren't just 'ants' at the bottom rung of the educational hierarchy but are professional, trained, qualified teachers who should be afforded respects, then schools may be an altogether more pleasant place to teach in and learn in.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    My mum who is a teaching assistant was pretty shocked by this and said 'back in her day' the teacher was still allowed to use a cane and no student would dare speak out against the teacher.

    Whilst I am not an advocate for violence like the cane, I really do think the power needs to be brought back into the teacher-student relationship. I did some work on power in my first year and I'm by no means an expert but it's a really interesting area. With coercion no longer an option there must be emphasis on charisma i believe (since it's unlikely we'll start paying students :p and teachers already hold expertise and legitimacy).

    So we need to find ways to make our teachers likeable. It's not enough for them to know the subject, etc. Although perhaps working on the culture in schools to formalise the relationship between student and staff further as it seems many students do not adhere to this and a culture in any organisation is implicit so something that needs a lot of effort and direction to change. 50 years ago if a teacher walked into a classroom, the students would be silent and stand to attention. That is respect and is not gained simply by rules on the wall or anything like that, but by an ingrained culture that needs to be nurtured and developed.

    Today the culture is partially one of showmanship where students may or may not see school as a playground, but this low level disruption can spread dissent as it were and undermine a teachers authority in the classroom. I've seen teachers 'snap' and bang rulers on tables loudly etc. and the response of some students was one of laughter.

    I think that's pretty much exactly what could have happened in this situation. But teachers have no power to control students, they can't expel them if they are misbehaving (the school loses the funding for the student if they do that), they can't reward them for doing well beyond gold stickers etc., they essentially have their hands tied behind their backs. Whilst being taunted by some students.

    I think if there is work to change the culture and the power teachers have who aren't just 'ants' at the bottom rung of the educational hierarchy but are professional, trained, qualified teachers who should be afforded respects, then schools may be an altogether more pleasant place to teach in and learn in.

    I agree! But i honesly dont think change will be put in place, its not as if the cane can be brought back (not that i want it to), but i do believe schools need to clamp down on behaviour.

    At my old school i had the head of english teach me for english GCSE, there was alot of trouble makers in the class, but when she walked in the room she oozed authority, everyone litterally shut up and didnt speak a word. I dont think it was because of her status of being the head of english, she was the sort of person that would let you know if you put a toe out of line, I can remember if someone forgot to bring their coursework (i did once) they would be litterally laying bricks everywhere untill we had that lesson, and she wasnt afraid of showing you up either.

    I really think we need more teachers like this, I think every new teacher that comes into this profession wants to be the 'new, cool' teacher that everyone loves, thats where they go wrong. Studets start to take advantage of this niceness, maybe turn up to class 5 minutes late, hand in homework/coursework a day late and turn up without proper uniform. I know its only little things, but i still think authority should be put back in place in schools.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    he kicked her bag across the room with the words 'you damage school property the school damages yours'
    School policy, it seems, does vary from place to place.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Reading some teachers' blogs and listening to what some friends of mine have to put up with teaching in sink schools, it would have taken someone with more patience than I posess to have not belted one of the little shits around the head. There are only so many times you can be told to fuck off by a pre-pubescent brat whom you are simply trying to educate that will not provoke a reaction.

    Not to say that I agree with what he did. But I understand.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This also shows the lack of support that teachers get in schools. They have a highly demanding job, a lot have little, or no support from the headteachers and when they come back from stress-related illnesses, there is no support structure in place to help them get back to 'normal'. He would've been expected to go into class, with no additional adult support, and a child would've just pushed his luck.

    Teaching is a shitty job in cases like this. As a teacher, in a school with no behavioural support, a shitty class (I had one child throw a chair at another pupil and was told to 'deal with it') I can sympathise with this teacher. And I am mentally stable.


    I completely agree. It a stressful job at the best of times, nevermind when you're someone who is obviously unstable. There is no way at all he should have been back in the classroom....the school management/leadership team should be held accountable too in my eyes.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    So we need to find ways to make our teachers likeable.
    Rubbish. They're the teachers, not bloody friends. They're meant to teach a subject, not run a popularity contest. At school, I happened to believe that several of my teachers were utter cunts - but I now realise why they were so damn strict with me. Kids need to learn how to behave themselves, and being befriended by a teacher is completely the wrong way to go about it. A certain distance must be maintained.

    As for the idea of bringing back the cane to schools, I wouldn't have much of a problem with it. The prospect of being scolded by a cane in the headmaster's office might make some kids think twice before misbehaving.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    stargalaxy wrote: »
    As for the idea of bringing back the cane to schools, I wouldn't have much of a problem with it. The prospect of being scolded by a cane in the headmaster's office might make some kids think twice before misbehaving.

    Yes, but do you honestly think that people of 14-15 year olds are going to stand for it if suddenly they bring the cane back? Do you just think they are going to hold their hands out and take the wack from the cane? I dont think so, i could see the more daring and more stocky lads taking a swing at the teachers themselfs.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    I'm lucky, my job demands respect...
    *resists temptation to make snide joke about Blunkett's Bobbies* :p
    Yes, but do you honestly think that people of 14-15 year olds are going to stand for it if suddenly they bring the cane back?
    They'll have to like it or lump it, as far as I'm concerned. Behave yourself properly and you'll have nothing to worry about.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yes, but do you honestly think that people of 14-15 year olds are going to stand for it if suddenly they bring the cane back? Do you just think they are going to hold their hands out and take the wack from the cane? I dont think so, i could see the more daring and more stocky lads taking a swing at the teachers themselfs.

    Not forgetting that violence and conflict was part of a teachers daily life during the era of physical punishment. From the stories I've heard about those days it wasn't that unusual for some children to fight back when being beaten and I'm not sure it would help educate children to have to start training teachers in violent intimidation and ritualised physical abuse.

    Not to mention those stories of the teachers that got into teaching many decades ago because they liked beating children, or liked taking out their frustrations at home on children - I'm not sure opening the doors to them is how we really want to deal with the teacher shortage.

    I also don't think it's a surprise that the image of a teacher as someone who could be confided in about abuse or problems at home started to come about after the end of corporal punishment. Physical abuse can often lead to people acting out in schools and telling someone about it at school when you're being beaten for your behaviour doesn't seem very likely. I've never seen any real evidence of violence breeding anything but violence.

    But as to the specific case in question, two things - please be careful about repeating things people hear from those involved or from the area in too much detail without evidence. Legally it's best to avoid things that may be hearsay, just worth remembering.

    Secondly, it sounds like one of those situations that the word tragedy was truly invented for. Sad for all involved and all that have had to experience what happened.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Secondly, it sounds like one of those situations that the word tragedy was truly invented for. Sad for all involved and all that have had to experience what happened.

    qft
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