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TEACHER IN SPANK ROW QUITS JOB; Fury of dad convicted over attack.


A TEACHER convicted of smacking his daughter has quit in disgust.

The 52-year-old has taken early retirement, claiming the court case wrecked his relationship with his employer.

And he likened the teacher's job to that of a "knife thrower's assistant".

The dad-of-three, of Motherwell, Lanarkshire, has moved to a smaller home and is signing on the dole while he looks for new work.

The teacher, who cannot be named to protect his daughter's identity, said: "My relationship with my employer became strained after the case.

"I should have had more support but if I even put my hand near a child it could be interpreted as aggression."

He added: "The teacher's job is like that of a knife-thrower's assistant. You are a punchbag for anyone who wants to have a go."

The dad was arrested on Christmas Eve 1998 after he smacked his eight- year-old daughter in a dentist's waiting room when she flew into a tantrum and refused treatment.

Surgery staff called the police and he was found guilty of assault at Hamilton Sheriff Court the following May.

In 2000, he was struck off by the General Teaching Council. The decision was reversed at the Court of Session but he did not return to the classroom. His North Lanarkshire Council bosses found him jobs in a teachers' resource library then a computer education centre.

Yesterday, he said: "It is with regret that I end my relationship with the children but relief that I finish with the local authority.

"I feel hounded out. I am losing pounds 2000 a month, less my pension.

"However, my wife and children have been very supportive and ex-pupils stop and talk to me in the street so I feel I still have the support of the local community."

North Lanarkshire Council refused to comment on the teacher's early retirement.

But Tino Ferri, of teaching union NASUWT, said: "It says a lot that he chose not to just take the money for non-teaching jobs."

MSPs will this week debate restrictions on how parents can discipline their children.

But the teacher fears the Criminal Justice Bill plans will extend the "nanny state" from the class into the home. He said: "I hope it will not further criminalise good parents."
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 18, 2003
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