P.E teacher turned fitness guru faces being struck off amid claims he called pupil “poofy jew”

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A PE teacher turned fitness guru faces being struck off the teaching register amid claims he called a pupil a “poofy jew.”

Darren Marr has been accussed of putting a bowl on top of Josh Harper’s head and make making the anti-semitic remark during a PE lesson in 2014.

Mr Marr has also been accused of repeatedly slapping the teenager over the head during the incident at Inveralmond Community High in Livingston, West Lothian.

The former secondary teacher, who is now a fitness coach, appeared in Livingston Sheriff Court in 2015 in relation to the remarks.

He was found not guilty of assault and the charge of racially aggravated conducted was found not proven.

Darren Marr has been accused of putting a bowl on top of Josh Harper’s head and make making the anti-semitic remark during a PE lesson in 2014.

However, this week, the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS) are investigating the accusations to determine whether Mr Marr’s fitness to teach is impaired.

The charges state: “On 12 November 2014, whilst employed as a teacher with West Lothian Council at School A, you did have inappropriate physical contact with a pupil during a lesson.

“You did make an inappropriate remark to a pupil during a lesson in that you said words to the effect of ‘poofy jew’.

“Between 12 November 2014 and 6 March 2015, whilst employed as a teacher with West Lothian Council at School A, you did contact fellow members of staff, while suspended, contrary to management instructions.

“As a result of that communication with fellow members of staff, you incited them to make contact with pupils who witnessed the incident on 12 November 2014.”

Mr Marr, who is believed to live in West Calder, West Lothian, appeared at the GTCS hearing in Edinburgh yesterday (mon).

During the hearing Mr Marr admitted to making physical contact with the boy, but denies making the anti-semitic and homophobic remarks.

He also admits to contacting a member of staff whilst suspended to ask them to contact pupils on his behalf regarding the incident.

The GTCS panel also heard on Monday that the pupil involved was consequently bullied by fellow pupils for being a “grass.”

Donna McMaster, who was headteacher at Inveralmond Community High at the time of the incident, gave evidence and said she thought Mr Marr should have “known better.”

She said: “It was inappropriate and unprofessional. Placing a bowl on the pupil’s head is not acceptable.

“Mr Marr could get involved in what I declare as a lack of judgement.

“I would have expected Mr Marr not to contact any teacher.”

When referring to other members of staff contacting him, she said: “I would expect Mr Marr to see it was not appropriate to reply back.”

The former secondary teacher, who is now a fitness coach, appeared in Livingston Sheriff Court in 2015 in relation to the remarks.

According to a statement made by Mr Marr during an investigation at the time by West Lothian Council, he said the physical contact was a “gentle coax.”

It also stated that Mr Marr thought that placing a bowl on the boy’s head was “playful.”

During the hearing in 2015, the pupil, Mr Harper said he felt humiliated after the incident.

He said: “I said: ‘Go on, keep hitting me then’ and he slapped me a further four or five times.”

“The people closest to me were shocked but the other people in the class were laughing.”

“He called me a Poofy Jew. I just felt he was trying to humiliate me in front of the class. The others were just staring and laughing.

“He crouched down beside me and said: ‘Are you going to cry, big boy?'”

The GTCS fitness to teach hearing continues.

Whilst teaching PE at Inveralmond Community High School, Mr Marr was head of house which involved providing support to around 150 pupils.

It is understood that Mr Marr, 32, was suspended and later dismissed from his teaching role in 2014 following an investigation into the pupil’s claims.

A West Lothian Council spokesman said: “It’s not appropriate to talk about past or present staff.”

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