A STRESSED primary teacher got drunk and injured herself at a wedding before pushing a nurse so hard she “flew” six feet.
Sarah May Watt was stressed as a result of handling a difficult P7 class and planning her own nuptials, a disciplinary hearing was told.
After drinking too much at a friend’s wedding in April last year, the 26-year-old was said by witnesses to have hit her head off a glass picture frame.
She later swore at a nurse and pushed her so hard she was propelled out of the room and into an ECG machine in the corridor, the hearing of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) in Edinburgh heard.
Mrs Watt, from Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, later profusely apologised to the nurse and gave her chocolates and a card before accepting a verbal warning from police.
Despite her actions, the GTCS disciplinary panel concluded that Mrs Watt’s fitness to teach was not impaired and she was free to carry on with her career.
Mrs Watt, who now teaches a P3/4 class at Fraserburgh North primary, admitted that she did “whilst under the influence of alcohol, push a Staff Nurse from a room, causing her to strike herself against machinery to her injury”.
Jason Young, the manager of the Buchan Braes Hotel, Fraserburgh, where Mrs Watt attended the friend’s wedding said she had to be removed from the staff area by friends.
“A little while later I got called as someone had been injured.
“I noticed it was the same woman. She was lying in glass on the floor and there was some blood in the area. We phoned an ambulance as there was blood on her head and she wouldn’t let us look at it.
“After speaking to some of the regulars who drink in the hotel, I was told that the lady involved was standing beside the picture crying, and then threw her head into the glass frame herself.”
A statement was read out to the hearing fr Lorraine Duner, the nurse involved in the incident.
The nurse, who has 35 years’ experience, said: “She was extremely agitated and kept pacing up and down the room. I was trying to get her to sit down so I could tend to her and see where the blood was coming from.
“She told me I was just a useless nurse and that nobody liked me. At that point I shouted in a colleague because I was frightened.
“Then out of nowhere she pushed me straight in the chest. I flew back about two metres and landed on a machine before falling to the ground.
“At first I thought I had broken my arm but after getting up I realised there was no bone damage.”
Ms Duner’s bruising was severe enough a few days later that she reluctantly reported the matter to police.
Mrs Watt said in her evidence that she accepted a verbal warning from police.
The teacher told the hearing she work up the next day and “wasn’t sure what had happened”.
She said: “I phoned people and got bits of information pieced together and felt ashamed and disgusted with the way I acted.”
Mrs Watt said her behaviour was down to the “the stress of work plus the planning of the wedding on top of the alcohol”.
The hearing was told by a teaching colleague that at the time Mrs Watt had a P7 class with several children from difficult backgrounds.
Jamie Foulis, defending Mrs Watt, said she had been seeing a counsellor to work out what exactly happened to her that night.
He added: “Mrs Watt has also greatly reduced her alcohol intake, having not drunk for the two months after the incident to give her time to reflect on what happened that night.”
Convenor of the panel, Frieda Fraser, said: “We are satisfied that Mrs Watt’s ability to teach has not been impaired by this incident so we are happy to allow her to continue teaching.”
Speaking outside after the judgement Mrs Watt said: “I’m so chuffed. I never expected that outcome at all, I’m so happy. A year and a half of agony is finally over.”