Teacher quits after ’traumatic ordeal’ in class
THE teacher at the centre of a campaign of racist abuse and taunts at a primary school where pupils told her "we don't like people who aren't Arabic" has quit the profession after an "incredibly traumatic" ordeal.
The woman, branded "Donald Trump" by students at the south west Sydney school, said she wanted to rebuild her life after having to clear her name in court of six counts of assaulting four students.
The 58-year-old told The Daily Telegraph from her home in Yagoona, south west Sydney: "I'm just glad it's all over, it was very traumatic, I'll never go back to teaching.
"I'm a mother myself and I was appalled at the behaviour of some of the children. It was incredibly traumatic, there was (some) inverted racism … I'm done with teaching."
The woman still struggles to comprehend how six weeks teaching in a composite 3/4 class led to her being accused of punching, pushing, punching, scratching and spitting at the students.
"It's left me pretty scarred, I'm an older teacher and I'll never go back (to teaching) now. I just need to put it well and truly behind me."
Her defence case at Liverpool Local Court focused on how she was subjected to sustained abuse from the first day last May when a boy, who later told police she spit on him, asked if she was Arabic.
She told the court, "I remember thinking, 'What do I say?' And I said, 'No, I'm not,' and he said, 'We don't like people who aren't Arabic' and then made a comment that I look like Donald Trump."
The court heard students were unruly and the class "chaotic" and she recalled having to break up several fights between students.
Three boys and one girl student gave evidence at the hearing including one boy who said the teacher was like the headmistress Miss Trunchbull from the movie Matilda, whose character is a staunch disciplinarian. An eight-year-old girl said the teacher punched her twice in the shoulder. She was also accused of spitting on a nine-year-old and scratching another boy's back.
Magistrate Daniel Covington dismissed charges against her, saying one of the accusations was "fabrication" by a male student who had a "clear" dislike for her. But the teacher had a bid for police to pay her legal costs denied last week.
"I won't be appealing the decision," she said. "You go into schools where there are problems for a short while and are expected to undo ingrained cultures. I just need to focus on getting on with my life now, this has dragged on in the courts for more than a year."