This was an interesting post that we found. It might be time to do a series on this.
By Jim S Dean
A lot of complaints and accusations are made each year against teachers, with over three-quarters of these being found to be false. Many of these allegations are a result of teachers simply breaking up fights or giving punishments to students for unacceptable behavior.
Teachers are particularly vulnerable to false accusations because of the varied nature of their jobs and the large numbers of young people they work with every day. Sadly, many students have no problem in making a false claim about a teacher they dislike.
Examples of serious allegations include:
• Accusing a teacher of any form of sexual abuse or improper contact with a student, or of making any sexual remarks, jokes or comments.
• Accusations of physical abuse or violence towards a student that cannot be justified as reasonable force.
• Racist or religious slurs, or any other offensive language or comments directed at a student.
• Allegations relating to a teacher’s skills, competency and professional behavior (for example, being drunk or under the influence of drugs).
Be aware: once a serious allegation has been made, it must be properly investigated. Teachers will be suspended while the investigation takes place. For many teachers, even if the allegation is proved to be completely false, the fact that it has been made will taint their reputation. It is often assumed that the fact an accusation has been made is proof enough of a teacher’s guilt.
Every effort should be made to preserve the teacher’s anonymity while an allegation is being investigated. The media or local press should not be given any details until the case is fully resolved.
If you are the victim of a serious allegation, you should still expect the support and understanding of your work place. If the allegation is true it is better to admit to it straight away and seek legal advice rather than lie about it. Be honest about what has happened and accept full responsibility for your actions.
What to do if you are falsely accused
- Ensure you get some legal support right away.
- Contact your union or other similar group for advice.
- Search online for support groups who can help and support you.
- Gather as much evidence as you can to contest the allegation. Make a list of students, staff and other colleagues who may be able to act as witnesses for your defense.
- Although false allegations are very damaging to any teacher, don’t lose heart. You don’t have to give up on your career just because of one malicious claim.
Jim S. Dean is a stay at home father, freelance writer, and webmaster with an interest in a wide range of subjects.