Former pupils, parents of current pupils and others spoke out last week in defence of an Isle of Wight teacher who has been indefinitely banned from teaching.
The ruling against the former science teacher followed an incident that took place on a school trip at the end of the summer term in 2018. As you can read below, many residents didn’t agree with the ruling.
Remorse for actions
Graeme Bell lost his job at Cowes Enterprise College and was charged by Magistrates with assault by beating, after getting involved in a physical altercation with two pupils. Another teacher on the school trip described Bell as going ‘crazily mental’ when he grabbed a student by the shoulders, forcibly pulling them along before pushing them to the ground.
Bell said he’s ‘learned a lesson from the incident’ and he expressed regret for his actions.
Outpouring of support
Over 160 comments were added to OnTheWight’s Facebook post – which reached 60,000 people – including one from a parent who said their child witnessed the incident at Corf Camp, saying that he didn’t agree it was a serious as had been reported.
“Far too harsh, feel sorry for the guy. My kids said he was a great teacher.”
“He was an excellent teacher, my daughter said he was one of the best science teachers she’d had.”
“My son achieved amazing results at GCSE thanks to Mr Bell taking the time to go through different ways of managing with him.”
“He was also my son’s science teacher, he loved every lesson with him and he was a bl**dy good teacher who knew how to get the best out of his pupils. Such a shame.”
“Should not have lost his career over that.”
“I’ve heard nothing but good things about this man. My kids go to this school and they had said no one says a bad word about him”
“The full story is, kids have been deprived of an excellent teacher and a good man.”
“Some of the pupils at my school put this guy through his paces when it comes to patience. I can tell you he was a bl**dy good teacher.”
“Madness! He taught me he’s an amazing guy”
“One of the best teachers I’ve had, and there’s been a few. The guy deserves a medal. For putting up with us lot.”
Those supporting the action
Only a couple of people commented against the actions of the teacher.
“As an adult, and a teacher, he should have known better and had better self control.”
“I’m sure the law is clear that no matter how emotionally charged a person is, they cannot physically assault people. Especially in a position of trust – the teacher should’ve walked away.”
Pop over to OnTheWight’s Facebook Page to read the rest of the comment thread.