Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A British teacher mocks her disabled students on Facebook

From This is Sussex in the UK:

A teacher at a special needs primary school in Tonbridge sparked an official investigation after openly mocking her vulnerable pupils on Facebook.

Emily Hudson branded Oakley School a "zoo" and said its children had shared "a particular brand of special germ" to make her ill.

She also criticised her pupils for smelling her legs, said she was working "in hell" and joked about throwing the children out of the window on her status updates posted in September 2010.

Oakley bosses launched an investigation after a parent saw the comments on Ms Hudson's personal profile.

The result of the investigation has not been made public, but Ms Hudson no longer works at the school.

The parent, whom we agreed not to name but who has since taken their child out of the school, said: "The things written about the school and pupils were worrying to say the least."

Mencap chief executive Mark Goldring said: "A person employed to support children with a learning disability is in a position of trust.

"If they have participated in name-calling and abuse it is particularly distressing to the children and families involved.

"We believe using ignorant and abusive language contributes to a culture where people with a disability, and their families, continue to be regularly subjected to verbal and physical abuse."

The Waveney Road school caters for 50 children, aged from five to 11, who have complex and/or severe learning difficulties. Its secondary school is in Tunbridge Wells.

Principal Martin Absolom said the school followed strict procedures clearly set out by Kent County Council once the Facebook page was brought to his attention, involving a "very thorough investigation of all aspects and information available".

"They also detail the subsequent processes and actions that must be taken by school governors following the outcome of the investigation.

"In line with these procedures, the details of the matter have remained confidential throughout as the details of the investigation and any subsequent action cannot be disclosed.

"We are deeply concerned that these inappropriate Facebook comments are still being made public because this will obviously cause parents needless concern and anxiety.

"I can categorically reassure everyone that staff have never failed in their duty of care at the school."