A Scottish schoolteacher faces expulsion after walking into a classroom full of pupils who need extra support. a student “Likes to just sit and fuck.”
Fiona MacDougall was teaching at Lynburn Academy in Cardonald, Glasgow, when she made the rude remark to students between December 2016 and January 2017 year.
The 58-year-old admitted making the comment and admitted it was “disrespectful” but claimed pupils wouldn’t understand what she meant said.
Ms MacDougall, who has taught at the school since 2004, faces 14 charges, including refusing to assist a pupil who asked to use the toilet, causing him to become soiled or wet myself.
She is also accused of demonstrating a “lack of good faith” when she tried to ensure that no staff member noticed that she was moving a student in an unsafe manner.
A Canadian-born teacher now faces being suspended during an ongoing hearing at the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).
The teacher gave evidence to GTCS last week, admitting six of the 14 charges.
Ms McDougal admitted her comments about the pupil that “he just likes to sit and peck”, saying: “I accept the allegation, I understand I shouldn’t have said it because it’s disrespectful.
“It uses language that is not appropriate in a professional environment and I would never speak of a student in that way again.
“Students are speechless and wouldn’t understand what was said, but it’s still inappropriate for a teacher to talk like that.”
Another allegation that she did not respond when colleagues swore at and/or in front of students, she admitted, adding: “I accept that allegation.
“My position is that my colleagues, namely A and B, were swearing in class and although I cannot recall examples, I accept that there was foul language and I did not rebuke them.
“I felt unable to deal with the situation and did not challenge them as I should have, I should have reported these issues at the time for the benefit and safety of the students.”
McDougall also admitted to violating procedures for moving and handling a student when she lifted him by hand when a lift was required.
She said: “I admit the charge. At the time, I mistakenly believed that this pupil was within the weight limit so I could move it by hand.
“Now I realize that this is not the case and I was wrong in my belief.
“I remember having informal conversations about getting up and using the lift with the school nurse.
“I misunderstood and mixed up the conversations I had as an advice, I never had a formal meeting with Michelle Connell [the school nurse].
“I was often under a lot of pressure at work and I probably didn’t understand.
“However, I understand it was not recommended by the medical staff.
“I intended to move him so that I didn’t let him down mentally and physically, but now I realize that I let him down.
“I thought I was helping him at the time.”
Ms MacDougall also admitted asking the student teacher to check the hallway to make sure no one was coming before she moved the child.
The teacher, who has more than a decade of teaching experience in special needs schools, claimed the teacher was checking to see if anyone could help her move the student.
Following her statement, Ms McDougal was cross-examined by GTCS representative Tom McEntegart, who asked Ms McDougal why she did not simply seek help from a colleague to move the pupil.
She said: “I would always have preferred to use the lift first, it was only when I got stressed about him changing position that I misremembered the discussion.”
Mr McEntegart replied: “I mean you sent colleague C to make sure you couldn’t be questioned [by another member of staff]?”
Ms. MacDougall then stated that she could not recall her reason for sending the student teacher to check the hallway.
Members of the GTCS panel then asked Ms McDougal further questions, including whether the other student, who she allegedly restrained by tying her to a chair, was able to walk unaided.
They asked if the student could unbuckle the strap if it was on.
Ms MacDougall replied: “Yes [he could walk unaided] and yes.
“No, I wasn’t [able to undo the strap].
“When we did the lesson it kept him focused, he had a tray so he could work from his chair.
“When no one could control him then [it was] for his own safety he was very short and could be knocked down by other students.
Ms MacDougall was finally asked how she would deal with inappropriate behavior by staff in the future, following her admission that staff swore in front of pupils without being called out.
She replied: “Being very clear at the beginning of the year and reminding [staff] if necessary that this language will not be accepted in my class.’
The hearing continues.
Teacher faces being struck off after saying pupil “loves to just sit and w**k”