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Stories of All the Scandals That Rocked Your Schools

Or, a trip down memory lane to the times people remember their teachers getting fired or 'choosing to leave' for good.

by Rhys Thomas
03 June 2019, 11:31am

A typical primary classroom (Photo by lovethephoto via Alamy Stock Photo)

It’s only polite to ask that you take a minute to pause. Please think about your own memories of moments that had teachers or principals chucked out of your school. Go on, I can wait. All done? Thank you. Wasn't that a good bit of drama, something to shake up the monotony of school five days a week? If you went to the sort of school where you didn’t have any scandals to speak of, then you may have been baffled by a few recent news lines.

There was one story in late April, where a Japanese professor reportedly decided he'd teach his students how to make MDMA. Unsurprisingly, he was fired, and might even face jail, as per reports. Then at the end of last week, people started sharing their personal memories of their “school’s huge scandals”, on Twitter. Here are some readers’ stories about teachers they remember leaving under… let's say unusual circumstances.

“A supply teacher spent an entire assembly presentation gay-bashing”

When I was doing my GCSEs at a Church of England School, we had a supply teacher covering someone on maternity leave. She did a school assembly presentation on HIV once, and basically spent its entirety gay-bashing. She kept talking about how the disease had originated in Africa, and had then been spread "by gay sex". And the tragedy was, that because gays have too much sex (of course) with too many people (duh) it became exponential, and an epidemic – which was fun to hear in the midst of discovering my own sexuality. A month or so later she disappeared and we then had no cover teacher. I am yet to officially find out what happened – but I suspect it might have had something to do with the gay-bashing. — Edward, Oxford

“This one kid was very nearly floored by a right hook to the face”

When I was 14 this classically misbehaved kid was fucking around with a soldering iron in design and technology (we were doing electronics, so it was fair to have a soldering iron, but equally dangerous). Naturally, the teacher shouted at him to like, not fuck around as much. But the pupil got vary lairy with the teacher. After a shouting match, the soldering iron was put down but they sort of squared up to one another. The pupil swung at the teacher but missed, and then the teacher – who was well into his sixties at this point – threw a right hook, and caught him on his cheekbone. The kid was very nearly floored. After this, the teacher had a sort of almost-early retirement, if you will. He had been there years; he even taught my dad. A true legacy. — Elise, Sussex

“This one teacher beat up a student, over a misunderstanding involving spit”

We had one RE teacher who got fired for fully beating a student up because he thought the student had spat on his car. Wasn't even a nice car. The teacher was approaching his car while this student was near it. He shouted at the student before pushing him into the car and denting it. The kid was on the floor and the teacher was then just fully kicking the fuck out him (the pupil was 14 or 15 at the time). The teacher ended up losing his job, obviously. But as he was the only RE teacher available (it wasn't the best school, and it was in the middle of nowhere) they brought him back in a few months later, out of necessity. Not sure he taught that kid though. The teacher had a daughter in the school as well which I imagine was a little bit peak. — Adam R, West Wales

“Our ‘quirky’ physics teacher lasted two months”

We had a supply teacher brought in for physics during my final year of GCSEs who was a complete tool. He was probably in his late thirties, and he brought in this paper clock which divided hours into sections like 'learning time', 'doing time' and 'reflection time', along with other unorthodox 'teaching methods' and a sketchy personal website where you'd submit homework. We also found out via the same website that he owned a yacht, and as a side hustle used to do boat trips onto the Thames Estuary.

I didn't think much of his bad teaching or quirky ways until he mysteriously disappeared around two months into his time there, and physics was basically cancelled, right before exams. He disappeared, it turned out, because he’d completely lied about having a degree, let alone teaching credentials. And when they called him in to confront him over the claims, he stole a laptop and drove off (not sure what happened with the yacht or the website). I had a C in the end, which was alright, all things considered. — Jon, Essex

"The head of languages lost an entire class's exams"

My GCSE German teacher once lost an entire lower set class's written exams, and instead of owning up to it she just replaced them with the ones from the year before and hoped no-one would notice. But of course, they did.

She'd been the head of languages for at least five years, but she'd always been kind of useless. I compare her to a confused Aunty. She was found out because the class she'd taught the year before were the top set, so suddenly students who’d been failing German since forever were miraculously getting A*'s and A's across the board: pandemonium. One of her students requested her essay back from the exam board, and quickly realised it was completely different. The student told the head teacher and naturally, shit went down. My German teacher left pretty much right after. — Adam W, Cambridge

"Our PE teacher tried so hard to be down with the kids that it got weird"

We had this PE teacher at our Catholic school who joined when we were in Year 9, and he was always trying a bit too hard to be best mates with the students. For some that made him cool, but for others it made them uncomfortable. At the close of my Year 13, he was told to quit or be sacked for giving his Year 11 form (15-/16-year-olds) a goodbye pamphlet that included advice on safe sex. At a Catholic school, that naturally didn't sit well with our head or deputy heads.

After being forced to leave, he tweeted saying he was sad that he’d be leaving his ‘special someone at work’. He also once took a girl in his form to his car and spoke to her all of lunchtime because she was crying over her boyfriend dumping her. Looking back, the guy was a walking scandal. — Tom, London

@_rhysthomas_