Call to crack down on pupils making malicious allegations

May 21, 2004

UNION officials yesterday called on the Scottish Executive to introduce new legislation cracking down on pupils who make malicious allegations against teachers. Members of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) said any pupil making a complaint should be suspended with the teacher during any subsequent investigation. The union’s annual conference in Carnoustie also unanimously agreed that any pupil who makes a false allegation should be charged with wasting police time, while the teacher should seek damages in the civil courts. Roy Robertson, the Scottish treasurer, said the move would act as a deterrent against the rising number of pupils making “capricious” allegations against innocent teachers. Mr Robertson, a primary school teacher in Alloa, said: “If the teacher is suspended, then the pupil should be out as well. If false allegations are made and teachers’ names are destroyed, then we have got to criminalise that behaviour and say to the procurator fiscal, ‘Let’s do something about this’. “It’s like a hoax call to the fire brigade. If you do that, you’re punished, and making hoax allegations against teachers should be treated in the same way. It’s not acceptable any more that we can just pretend that it was a ghastly mistake and go back to day one and start again.” Mr Robertson said local authorities should be responsible for providing education for any pupil suspended while an allegation against a teacher is investigated….

Scotsman

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