Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/416/4735
SACKED for speaking out
EILEEN HUNTER, National Union of Teachers' representative at the International School and Community College in Birmingham, has been sacked for speaking out in her school.
Socialist Party member Eileen has argued with her headmaster Sir Dexter Hutt over many issues. Last year he tried to sack 29 support staff but a union campaign stopped him. This year he threatened teachers' jobs but again the union started organising action on this.
Eileen criticised the head's 'zero-tolerance' attitude to discipline at a National Union of Teachers (NUT) conference. His policies have led to 440 pupils being given exclusions (and never coming back) and another 17 being expelled. Sir Dexter even described Eileen, accurately, as "the champion of staff and students".
She was marched out of the school after the teachers' vote and her disputing his decision to stop the school's A-level programme. Eileen says: "My sacking had nothing to do with my teaching, but everything to do with my trade union activities.
"I loved my job. I don't think we should have kids having to hang around the streets because they have been excluded. I also think A-levels can be an inspiration to young people."
The school obviously saw Eileen as a thorn in their side. They never even formally disciplined her but went straight for suspension and dismissal. A campaign is being organised to get Eileen her job back. Meanwhile please send support for Eileen via the socialist.
In The Socialist 17 November 2005: