492 days ago, our lives were changed forever. It is difficult to imagine personal tragedies that might be worse. Many might say that the death of a loved one is worse but it is not. Over these 492 days, my partner lost both parents. Sad times but such events have a closure, a natural end and there is support, comfort, compassion and sympathy from family and friends.
A false allegation consumes and destroys the ideals and beliefs that have taken a lifetime to grow. Like a thief in the night, everything is stolen, ransacked and trashed. You escape but you have been violated, raped and all around is now an unrecognizable alien world of monsters and evil. You are alone.
Your dignity remains for a while; you hope that you might awake from this nightmare – all that is needed is to hold on to a forlorn hope that someone will be strong enough to see into your world and to know that you are innocent. In the end there is no one, just bystanders who look the other way.
People lie, cheat, deceive, hurt and violate one another – why ? The answer is that they can, they are empowered by legislature – they gain personal satisfaction, a sense of power and importance whilst remaining protected by a shield of bureaucratic rules of policies, processes and procedures. They believe in their authoritative position and vigorously throw themselves into their duty, ignoring and suppressing any and all vestiges of commonsense, decency and humanity. Was this ethos not the cornerstone of Nazism ? A world in fear of thugs, bullies and cowards.
How much value do we assign to our dignity, our self-respect when everything that mattered has gone ? How much value can we assign to the destruction and total humiliation of an innocent person and their family ? How much is 492 days of pain, torture and anguish worth ? What price for a dedicated, loyal and committed 30 year career ?
For me, there is only my family – “me and mine”. I will fight for justice, I will fight for honour and I will never ever stop … there will be no end !
School / LEA Justice :
|Q.||“You are saying personnel advised you to come up with what you believed had happened ?”|
|A.||“That is what I was advised to do. I was told to find out what the witnesses said and write down what I believed. My advice from personnel was to speak to witnesses and present a report based on what I found and what I believed had happened on 26th September. Hence when I did speak to people I believed that ‘she’ had smacked ‘the girl’ on the hand and my report reflected that.”|
|Statements were omitted :|
|“We felt that to use the statement would be a distraction.”|
|“The statement only served to ‘cloud the issue’.”|
|“I didn’t feel that character references were relevant.”|
|Even though character references were deemed irrelevant, I was denied my right to submit mine as they were classified as ‘late evidence’. (Such a restriction did not apply to the head teacher and he produced ‘new’ evidence during the disciplinary hearing.)|
Investigative guidelines (ACAS and LEA) were ignored - unfair ? Who said this should be fair ? Realize that life is not fair ... you are guilty from the moment of your suspension.
“The truth is out there” but no one wants to know and it no longer has any import.
ACAS Investigative Objective :
The investigating officer is obliged to carry out his/her investigation impartially. They must examine the issue from both sides. This means that they must look for facts which support the complaint/allegation, and look for facts which contradict the complaint/allegation. In addition they must demonstrate that they have done so. It is not sufficient for them to examine the position from the complainant’s point of view and simply ask the accused for their comments about what has been alleged.
DCSF Investigative Objective :
An investigation is a fact-finding exercise with the aim of obtaining, as far as possible, a fair and balanced picture through a written record. The aim is not to prove or disprove an allegation.
Head Teacher / Lancashire LEA Investigative Objective :
The overriding consideration is that the investigative report must clearly and factually prove guilt.
All witnesses must be interviewed and statements prepared on their behalf. Witnesses must be encouraged to make supportive comments and these can be enhanced during the final production of the investigative report or changed at a later date if necessary.
(If statement amendments / changes are challenged it is acceptable to say that they are simply ‘administrative errors’.)
No consideration must be made of character and previous behaviour / performance; the report should identify failings and destroy credibility of the accused.
“I believe ‘she’ is guilty of gross misconduct for smacking ‘her’ and my concern is compounded by her refusal to admit the offence.”
“I knew what I believed and I proved it !”
It was even difficult and dangerous to obtain character references from school colleagues :
“You know the position that we’re in at work. I can’t go behind his back. If he gets wind of it, I’m going to be in the shit really.”
This teacher has now left the school.
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, these ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”