Political Relationship and Narrative Knowledge: A Critical Analysis of School Authoritarianism

By Peter B. Armitage | Go to book overview

Chapter 4
Disciplinary Tribunal for Criticizing a Head Teacher

The story moves in this chapter to a courtroom, tribunal situation in front of a lawyer and four members of a jury whose task is to adjudicate the evidence, in which the interested parties tell their side of the story in relation to the events that led to a charge of unprofessional conduct against me for criticizing a head teacher. I outline my defense in the first section. Then, I record the story and evidence of Dennis Moore, who initiated the charge, and why he did so. Next, Dr. Cathy Hall, a Borecross governor, tells her story followed by Dr. Kinship, also a Borecross governor. These are the three main witnesses for the prosecution of misconduct. Two minor witnesses, representing the authority in the same cause, also give evidence. Then the side of the defense is heard by one witness and written testimony. Finally, I construct the plot and story and analyze it from the point of view of the charge of unprofessional conduct. The evidence contributes to the interweaving of the events and actions into a meaningful whole. This is a retrospective analysis to discover the true significance in terms of causation. Who and what caused it and why?


THE DEFENSE

The City Education Authority made the following charge at a disciplinary tribunal:

Mr. Armitage "has been involved in a criticism of the previous headmaster" and "had continued to criticize" under the new headmaster, Mr. Tottenham. The document which was written by Mr. Armitage "was considered to be unprofessional in content" (Chapter 9, first section). Finally in the opinion of Mr. G. A. Stephens,

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