Wednesday, June 29, 2022
NewsScottish NewsScots teacher who singled out pupil because bra strap was showing struck...

Scots teacher who singled out pupil because bra strap was showing struck off

A SCOTS teacher has been struck off after he refused to teach a schoolgirl whose bra strap was showing and allegedly fat-shamed pupils.

Andrew Gibson was found to have fallen significantly below the standards of a teacher by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) yesterday.

A hearing heard how Mr Gibson, a former business studies teacher at Westhill Academy in Aberdeenshire, “singled out” a female pupil who took her hoodie off during a lesson.

He refused to teach the schoolgirl before telling a senior colleague that he felt “deeply uncomfortable” that he could see the pupil’s shoulder and bra strap.

He was also accused of saying there was a “level of risk” regarding her outfit.

The entrance of Westhill Academy in Aberdeenshire.
The entrance of Westhill Academy in Aberdeenshire.

On another occasion Mr Gibson was found to have told his class not to applaud one pupil because their presentation “was not good enough to deserve applause”.

And in a separate incident he “mocked” another pupil by doing an impression of her by flicking his hair.

The GTCS was unable to fully investigate allegations relating to Mr Gibson ‘fat-shaming’ pupils due to a witness failing to show up to give evidence.

They found those allegations, an accusation that he pretended to use a bottle to urinate and that he used certain swear words as not proven due to this.

Following an investigation over a string of allegations, the GTCS yesterday decided to issue Mr Gibson with a removal order.

The teaching regulator found 19 allegations against Mr Gibson, dating from February 2017 to December 2017, proved.

Convenor of the panel Arthur Stewart yesterday said: “Mr Gibson has been found to have fallen significantly below the standards of a registered teacher.

“The panel must direct his name be removed from the register of the General Teaching Council for Scotland.”

Headteacher of Westhill Academy, Alison Reid, previously told the panel: “He seemed to be uneasy that the pupils weren’t in uniform, particularly with girls and how they were dressed.

“He didn’t go into details about why but he certainly was.”

Making reference to an incident where he refused to teach a female pupil after she took her jumper off, she said: “The middle floor gets very hot and it was in a computer lab, so the pupil took off her hoodie.

“My understanding was that other pupils had removed their hoodies or jumpers but Mr Gibson honed in on her.

Westhill Academy in Aberdeenshire.
Westhill Academy in Aberdeenshire.

“My understanding was it was [appropriate in line with the dress code].

“He was told if he had worries about a pupil’s dress he was to speak to their guidance teacher and not the pupil.

“It was going against what we had agreed was agreed by him and singling out one pupil could have been as isolating.”

Sarah Colville, deputy headteacher at the school, said: “[The girl who was not allowed to take her jumper off] she was roasting and there were no windows open or any fans on.

“He could see her shoulder and a bra strap.

“They got into a bit of an argument.

“There were other pupils dressed the same.

“Andy said that he was deeply uncomfortable [with what Pupil A was wearing].

“He kept saying he was concerned about false accusations.

“I really felt this wouldn’t have escalated if the windows had been opened or put a fan on.

“He definitely singled the pupil out.”

Mr Gibson also told Mrs Colville: “What would it look like if someone passed your office and I am in the corner, like the deputy headteacher was hitting me”.

She added that after a meeting between her, head of faculty’s Peter Hagan and Mr Gibson: “Mr Hagan left the office, I stood up to go, then he shut the door and just stood.

“He was just kind of lurking and he’s a big chap.

“Then he made the comment ‘what would it look like if someone passed your office and I am in the corner, like the deputy headteacher was hitting me’.

“I was gobsmacked, I was totally taken aback.

“I felt ‘oh my god, I’m vulnerable here’.”

Jason Fitzgerald, deputy headteacher at the school said: “There were other girls dressed similarly.

“He was using phrases that he did not want to be exposed to arms, bra straps.

“He said there was a level of risk involved and that concerned me.

“I was deeply uncomfortable the more I thought about what he said.

“The fact he was not wanting to be left ‘open to that level of risk’.”

Related Stories