EIS COMMENT ON ABSOLUTE DISCHARGE FOR FORMER TEACHER
Commenting today on the Absolute Discharge granted by the Sheriff in the case of Mike Barile, a former teacher with Dundee City Council, EIS Assistant Secretary Drew Morrice said:
“While the EIS will not comment on the specifics of any individual case, this case has highlighted the intense level of pressure that teachers can be placed under by persistent provocation and abusive behaviour by pupils and the scrutiny that may follow any physical intervention by a teacher.”
“All employees, including teachers, should have the right to work in a safe and secure environment, free from the threat of verbal or physical abuse. It is simply unacceptable for any teacher to be faced with insulting, abusive or threatening behaviour in the course of their working lives. Local authorities must be fully aware of their obligations to ensure a safe and secure working environment for all teachers, and parents too must take responsibility in ensuring that their children behave appropriately towards teachers.”
“Schools are like any other workplace, in that all employees have the right to respect and fair treatment and protection from any threat or harm. Today's ruling will not resolve issues relating to physical interventions by teachers. However, the ruling will certainly ensure that teachers should not be treated differently in law because of the position they hold. Schools can only operate effectively and deliver a quality education if the learning and teaching environment is secure and safe for everyone, both pupils and staff, who are part of the school community"
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