Teachers' Terrors; the Thugs Sent Back to Strike Fear into Schools
Harris, Sarah, Daily Mail (London)
Byline: SARAH HARRIS
THE scourges of Britain's classrooms were revealed yesterday.
The 48 troublemakers on a teaching union's roll call of shame were expelled for carrying weapons, selling drugs or launching horrific attacks on other pupils or staff.
The young hooligans u aged five to 16 u were subsequently, however, returned to their schools against the heads' wishes.
In most cases, independent appeals panels ordered their reinstatement. A few governing bodies and local authorities allowed them to return as well.
The assaults included beating a pregnant teacher, stoning another and spraying a noxious substance in a classroom assistant's face.
Victims of such attacks often required hospital treatment.
The National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers, which issued the list, said decisions to reinstate the culprits led to 32 ballots for industrial action last year. This amounted to a refusal to teach the troublemakers.
The youngest on its list is a fiveyearold from the West Midlands who kicked and hit classmates before turning on a teacher.
In this case, the governing body backed the head's decision to exclude him.
But the local education authority insisted he should be taken back even though he had special educational needs.
Eventually he was placed elsewhere.
Independent appeals panels ordered the reinstatement of other pupils including a seven-year-old boy from the same area. He shouted at a teacher, kicked him in the shins and made a malicious allegation which was rebutted by all other pupils.
The list also includes Sam Lystor and another 15-year-old expelled from Glyn Technology School in Surrey for bombarding PE teacher Steve Taverner with death threats.
They were returned by an independent appeals' panel which triggered threats of strike action by staff. They were eventually moved to nearby schools. In another case, a 14-year-old boy from the West Midlands got drunk on cider and lager during a school trip then attacked a teacher and the head who came to his aid.
It took four members of staff to restrain him and police had to be called.
He was then locked in the cells to sober up.
A 15-year-old boy from a Yorkshire secondary school threw a firework into a PE changing room which was filled with pupils, while a 14-year-old girl from London sprayed a classroom assistant in the face with whiteboard cleaner.
A 14-year-old boy at a London secondary brought a replica gun into school and attempted to sell it. He had a history of violence, bullying, hurling abuse at teachers and setting off a fire extinguisher.
Eamonn O'Kane, general secretary of the NAS/UWT, said the cases were the 'tip of the iceberg'.
'It continues to be a source of intense anger to teachers that where they see a youngster has undermined the ability of the school to operate effectively, they are returned to the school. It's a depressing experience,' he said.
The Government has shaken up appeals panels so that they must include a serving or retired head.
Their decisions can no longer be overturned on a technicality.
While panels can disagree with a head's decision, they can now accept that the problem pupil should be moved because of the impact on staff and pupils.
Some 9,210 pupils were excluded in the year 2000-01, 983 of whom appealed.
Of these, 314 pupils excluded for serious offences were reinstated. …