Racial abuse against whites gets slap on the wrist in Britain
A teacher who was convicted of a race crime after calling a youth 'white trash' has been reprimanded by the General Teaching Council for her 'unacceptable professional conduct'. But the GTC's Professional Conduct Committee decided that, although it was a 'serious' matter, it was not necessary to suspend Jane Turner from the classroom.
Mrs Turner was working at Moseley School, a specialist language college in Birmingham, when she was convicted at Halesowen Magistrates' Court in October 2009 of using racially threatening words or behaviour likely to cause harassment or distress six months earlier outside a school 20 miles away.
She was made subject of a community order for one year with a requirement to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work, and was ordered to pay compensation of £50.
The General Teaching council also investigated and announcing its decision said: 'On 22nd April 2009 Mrs Turner witnessed a dispute between a group of young people near school premises.
'Mrs Turner intervened in the dispute and in the heat of the moment was observed by a parent of one of the other children saying, "Go and play with your own little white friends, you're nothing but white trash".'
The findings continued: 'Mrs Turner accepts that making a comment like this amounts to unprofessional conduct. Mrs Turner accepts that her words on this occasion may have been perceived as racist and that it is entirely inappropriate for a registered teacher to make such a comment.
'The committee agrees. A registered teacher must demonstrate respect for diversity and promote equality. Conviction of an offence of this type brings the profession into disrepute.
'Although the offence was not committed in the vicinity of the school where Mrs Turner was teaching at that time, her behaviour set a very bad example for the schoolchildren who were present at the time.'
The committee said that it took into account that she was of previous good character and that, while she was not at first willing to accept what she had done, Mrs Turner had now said that she was 'genuinely sorry'.
It added that the police report referred to her being concerned for the wellbeing of a family member present at the time of the incident and also said that her head teacher had not found it necessary to take any further action within the school.
The findings said that in other circumstances a much more severe sanction would have been appropriate, but that having regard to all the mitigating circumstances of the case, the committee considered that the appropriate and proportionate response was a reprimand, which would remain on Mrs Turner's professional registration for two years.