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It is worthwhile for parents and the general public to make careful comparisons between the treatment of teachers alleged to have been assaulted by a  pupil at Movilla High School in Newtownards and pupils alleged to have been attacked by a teacher at All Saints Roman Catholic Comprehensive School, in Mansfield.

The following stories were widely reported in the Northern Ireland and mainland media last November.




03 November 2008  MOVILLA High School in Newtownards has today resumed classes. It follows almost three weeks of strike action by teachers affiliated with the NASUWT union. They had walked out after a dispute over an alleged assault on a teacher by a pupil.


The intervention of the Children’s’ Commissioner further muddied the waters. The Commissioner has since failed in an expensive bid to ban parents from smacking children. Perhaps the English Children’s’ Commissioner will take up the case of child protection in classrooms.


The Independent newspaper carried the following account of the alleged teacher assault.


Peter Harvey, 49, is said to have assaulted his pupil, named locally as Jack Waterhouse, after the boy swore at him in the classroom. He is alleged to have attacked the teenager with a heavy metal weight, beating him over the head in front of a class of more than 20 children. Two of Jack’s classmates, a boy and a girl, both 14, were also assaulted, apparently when they went to their friend’s aid.