Thursday, 29 April 2010

Throwing the Chalk

Am I alone in thinking that Mansfield (UK) schoolteacher Peter Harvey was driven to hit a pupil under what now appears to have been proven to be extreme provocation? What I am pleased with is the jury of 'twelve good men and true' (excuse me ladies - it's from the 1630s when equality was not heard of!) absolutely recognised the behaviour of the children involved should be taken as completely abhorrent and responsible for pushing this man over the top.

Whilst he was cleared of attempted murder, Peter Harvey admitted grievous bodily harm without intent and the Judge, according to the
BBC made these very telling comments:

Judge Michael Stokes QC said: "Common sense has prevailed now we have heard all the evidence."

Turning to Harvey, the judge said: "I'm not going to send you to prison for this offence.
I'm not even going to impose a suspended sentence.

"That would be wrong given that you have already served a sentence longer than can be lawfully suspended."

He added: "This court is looking to impose a community order which will assist you with the problems that you have had."

Grievous bodily harm without intent would normally attract at least a five year prison sentence - in this case, justice has been seen to be done - in my view - thank God.

Teachers have a hard job and like all professions there are good, bad and average. Harvey reacted badly and unlawfully and should have left the room. The question is now, how many of the pupils responsible have been or are going to be taken to task over their involvement in this?

Teachers deserve the support of the public at large, parents in particular and Government in protecting them from lawless pupils who don't give a shit and think they are above the law. Get rid of bad teachers - absolutely, but firmly deal with pupils who disrupt; make life easier for the vast majority of kids who want to succeed.

Chat soon



  1. As a teacher who has had some very challenging classes, I can understand the provocation and can imagine some of the stresses he was under. Does the school management team have to answer for it's lack of discipline within it's classrooms?

    But I feel he should have gone to prison. In my opinion there is no excuse for hitting a child. No matter how horrible my children were at school I would not expect them to be physically assaulted by someone who has a duty of care for them.

  2. Hi Auntiegewen
    I absolutely respect your point of view and I agree there is no place for physically assaulting a pupil hence why I said he should have walked away and left the class. I suppose the penalty he'll pay is that he'll never teach again and be placed on List 99 or whatever they call it, so in many ways, he'll pay long term rather than a short term prison sentence.

    Interesting debate and I admire anyone who has the courage and confidence to teach. I guess the other question is over the management of this man's admitted mental health issues by the school or local authority.