Chemistry teacher stripped to boxers and shirt after prom and pecked boy on cheek

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A TEACHER stripped to his shirt and pants and pecked a pupil on the cheek after a school prom night went disastrously wrong.

Richard Hutchison, 57, drove to the event but drank too much to be able to get home and agreed to stay in a hotel room already booked by male pupils.

The chemistry teacher, who was later suspended as Head of Science at Johnstone High School, Renfrewshire, kissed a boy on the cheek for a dare and took off his trousers before sleeping on the floor.

A Snapchat picture of Mr Hutchison sitting on a chair in his boxer shorts emerged on social media, eventually landing him in front of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

 

Richard Hutchison stripped to his shirt and pants following prom night

 

At a GTCS hearing in Edinburgh today (mon), he admitted all the charges against him but denied he is unfit to teach.

Mr Hutchison, who was the subject of a pupils’ petition to lift his suspension, criticised colleagues for failing to look after him and alleged that the headteacher knew he was spending the night in a room with pupils.

The case comes just four months after Scots teacher Isabelle Graham was struck off the teaching register after she slept with a 17-year-old pupil at a school prom night in June 2014.

Mr Hutchison was in attendance at the prom night which took place on June 12, 2015, at the three star Burnhouse Manor Hotel in Beith, North Ayrshire.

A joint statement of facts from Jamie Foulis, Mr Hutchison’s lawyer and Carla Roth, the GTCS presenting officer, was read to the hearing.

It stated: “Mr Hutchison consumed to excess. The respondent slept on the floor under a blanket in his boxers and shirt.”

“Some of the young people joked about the respondent being one of their boyfriends and approached the respondent asking for a kiss. He ‘pecked’ the student.”

Giving evidence at the hearing, Mr Hutchison admitted: “My conduct was unwise, unprofessional and a significant error of judgement.

 

The Burnhouse Manor Hotel where the incident took place

 

“As the night wore on I was approached by two male student who asked about my sleeping arrangements. At first I declined their offer. I slept under a blanket on my own on the floor.

“I accept it was my responsibility to protect myself but I am disappointed with my colleagues attending the event who failed to see my vulnerable position.”

He went on to say that his head teacher was aware he was going to stay at the hotel and had said: “He’s a big boy, he knows what he’s doing.”

Mr Hutchison, who got a taxi home in the morning and returned later for his car, said he did not consider the prom a school event because the sixth years had effectively left Johnstone High.

But Gordon McKinlay, Head of Schools at Renfrewshire Council, told the hearing: “Young people attending the event would be considered school pupils until the end of term, Friday 26 June 2015. I would be surprised if a senior member of staff was unaware of this.”

Mr Hutchison admitted charges that “You did sleep in a hotel room with a number of pupils.

You were in a state of undress in front of pupils, in that you removed your suit and were wearing only a shirt and underpants. And you did kiss a pupil.”

The hearing is due to take evidence from further witnesses and will then have to decide if Mr Hutchison is unfit to teach. If so, he could be struck off.

A change.org petition was set up by pupils following his suspension, attracting hundreds of signatures.

It stated: “So my old Chemistry teacher got himself into an alleged state of advanced refreshment. Mr ‘H’ was the best damn teacher I ever had.

“One alleged transgression cannot be allowed to determine the outcome of this great teacher.”

Renfrewshire Council today disclosed that the incident had cost Mr Hutchison his job.
A spokesman said: “We are aware of a hearing at the GTCS regarding a former employee who was dismissed by Renfrewshire Council following a disciplinary process in 2015.”

In his evidence, Mr Hutchison admitted that he knew some of the pupils were attempting to kiss him as part of a dare.

He said: “I am aware of there being a dare by some pupils to ask for a kiss. There was something called ‘gagging’ at the time, which I had never heard of before or since.

“I understand the pupil said to his friends ‘look at how drunk Mr Hutchison is, I bet I could get off with him'”.

It also emerged that the Snapchat picture of Mr Hutchison, which showed that his shirt was unbuttoned, was seen by teachers the following day.

The hearing continues.

Isabelle Graham, who taught French at Whitburn Academy, West Lothian, was struck off for sleeping with a 17-year-old boy on prom night.

The former French teacher repeatedly “engaged in sexual activity” with the boy after giving him alcohol and sharing a bed with him at a Travelodge in Edinburgh.

Mrs Graham, a devout Christian who was at the time engaged, denied the charges, claiming her drink had been spiked and that she had no recollection of events.

The scandal erupted shortly after the prom night in June 2014 when a picture emerged on social media which showed a blonde woman in bed and the boy involved in the case standing by the door with a bottle in his hand.

She was judged unfit to teach and barred from the profession by the GTCS disciplinary panel.

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