Teacher free to return to classroom less than a year after being struck off for racially aggravated conduct

A TEACHER who racially abused a nightclub bouncer is free to return to the classroom less than a year after she was struck off.


Rachael Patterson got drunk and danced on a table before making monkey noises during the incident in Aberdeen.


The 29-year-old was convicted of racially aggravated conduct, sacked from her job at the city’s St Machar Academy, and struck off the teaching register.


The decision to let her resume teaching so soon has been condemned as “very wrong” by Aberdeen Councillor Mohammed Malik, who said he would raise the issue with colleagues.

The GTCS believed Mrs Patterson's voluntary work with a variety of agencies demonstrated her commitment to equality and diversity.
The GTCS believed Mrs Patterson’s voluntary work with a variety of agencies demonstrated her commitment to equality and diversity.
The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) ruled in November last year that striking off was the only sanction which would “sufficiently demonstrate to the public GTC Scotland’s commitment to promoting equality and diversity”.


Mrs Patterson reapplied to the teaching register in June and the GTCS revealed in a report published last week that she was fit to teach again, saying she has “accepted the gravity of the offence”.


The history teacher, according to the GTCS, had done voluntary work with a variety of agencies and this had “demonstrated her commitment to equality and diversity”.


But Cllr Malik, a member of the city’s education committee, was outraged at the decision.


He said: “This person should not be allowed to teach again after such a serious incident.


“This is a very sensitive profession and she might be racist towards children.


“It is very wrong.”


He added: “If she was found guilty in court then she should not be allowed to teach again.


“I will discuss this with the council and I will raise the issue with my colleagues and the leader of the council.”


The incident happened at Aurum nightclub in May 2012.


Mrs Patterson appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court in January last year and was fined £600.


The GTCS hearing in November last year was told that Mrs Patterson referred to the steward, M Lee Mbaye, as “nothing but a f****** monkey”, accompanied by monkey noises.


At the same hearing, Mrs Patterson denied acting in a racist manner.


“I was dancing on a bench and was asked to leave. A situation arose where I was charged with talking in a racially aggravated manner. I pleaded not guilty.


“My position remains that I did not act in a racially aggravated manner and I did not make racist remarks.”


“I do regret my reaction to the door staff. I also regret that on the night my consumption of alcohol was such that my defence was not accepted by the court.”


Asked if Mrs Patterson would be re-employed, Aberdeen City Council declined to comment.

By Xantha Leatham