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terça-feira, 25 de outubro de 2011

Facebook row headteacher is suspended over slur allegations

A HEADTEACHER at the centre of a row over alleged Facebook slurs has been suspended.
The Mail understands Debbie Johnson, headteacher of Westcott Primary School, was suspended yesterday afternoon.
She is the second teacher to be ordered away from the school following the alleged insults.
Nyanza Roberts was suspended 12 days ago for her part in the conversation, in which she allegedly called people in east Hull "thick" and "inbred".
Hull City Council refused to comment on the latest suspension, which came the day after parents attended a highly-charged meeting with MP Karl Turner to voice their anger.
A council spokeswoman told the Mail they would make no further comment until an investigation is over.
However, parents said they were pleased Ms Johnson had been removed from the school.
Melissa Lowson, who has one child at the school, said: "I'm glad she has gone. I think she should have been suspended at the same time as Nyanza Roberts.
"We all write things on Facebook, but I believe to let the conversation carry on, was wrong.
"It is not setting an example to the kids.
"If this had not gone to the Hull Daily Mail, I think it would all have been swept under the carpet.
"I'm glad people are doing something about it."
Four Westcott teachers were involved in a conversation on the social networking site, which came to light when copies, including the alleged insults, were posted on railings around the school.
One post, allegedly written by Jane Johnson, referred to Year 5 and 6 pupils queuing in a discount store.
All four teachers are under investigation by Hull City Council after Mary Wallace, chair of Governors at Westcott Primary, handed power to officials at the Guildhall to protect impartiality.
Sources have told the Mail officials at the city council are taking the matter extremely seriously.
It is understood dismissal of one or more of the teachers is a serious consideration.
Following the outcome of investigation, it is up to the governors to decide the appropriate sanctions, not the council.
At a public meeting on Thursday, around 100 parents told Hull East MP Karl Turner they were upset and angry at the Facebook conversation.
They said they felt let down by head Debbie Johnson and teacher Nyanza Roberts.
Many said they felt the trust had gone between them and the head.
They also believed she ought to have been suspended immediately the conversation came to light.
One parent speaking at the meeting, said: "The investigation should have started with all four being suspended but, unfortunately, it is difficult because the kids like the teachers.
"It is very difficult at the school at the moment."
Another parent said of head Debbie Johnson: "I believe she has let herself down badly.
"We feel let down and upset."
Parents told the meeting Ms Johnson had not been into the playground since she returned to the school following time away after the Mail broke the story.
By contrast, they said, teachers Stuart Clark and Jane Johnson had been out talking to parents.
There was support for teacher Stuart Clark at the meeting.
It is unclear when the investigation will be complete.
Parents have urged others to get behind the remaining staff at the school who they said did and "exemplary job."
Hull East MP Karl Turner has previously said he believes all four teachers involved in the conversation should be suspended pending an investigation.
He told the Mail he was unable to comment on the latest suspension at the troubled school.
However, he has told the Mail he has every confidence in chair of governors Mary Wallace, who he says has a "firm grip" on the investigation.
No one at Westcott Primary School could be contacted for comment.

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