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'Voodoo curse' teacher struck off

A teacher who threatened to use a voodoo curse on a pupil and racially abused another by calling him "pepsi max" has been struck off after a panel found she was not fit to teach.

Roslyn Holloway, who was a special educational needs teacher at the Lord Silkin Trust School in Shropshire between September 1, 2003 and January 28 last year, told one pupil she would put a voodoo curse on him if he did not behave in class.

A General Teaching Council panel heard she pulled out some of his hair in a humanities class before wrapping it around the leg of a keyring "voodoo" doll and told him that if she dropped the doll his leg would hurt and that he would drown if she put it in water.

She racially abused two other pupils during a drama lesson by calling them "pepsi max" and "black boy", as well as saying "come on ginge" to another.

In 2009 Ms Holloway, who did not attend the hearing, was formally cautioned by West Mercia Police for battery after she pulled out some of the hair from one of her students, causing a red lump. She failed to notify her employers about the formal police action, which breached her employment conditions, the panel heard.

Ms Holloway, who currently lives in the Shetland Isles, called another pupil an "idiot" in front of his classmates, hit him on the head with the heel of her hand in the school corridor and threatened to bang his head on the table. She told him she would not want to kiss him because he was a "big hair frog".

The panel in Birmingham was told she discussed inappropriate subjects such as black magic and made inappropriate remarks to one pupil. Her behaviour upset two of her pupils so much that their parents visited the school, the panel heard.

Ms Holloway admitted all of the claims against her in a letter dated June 21 this year.

The inquiry, chaired by Max Hyde, found that her actions amounted to unacceptable professional conduct and struck her off from the teaching register for at least four years.

Mr Hyde ruled: "Ms Holloway's conduct included using derogatory and abusive words towards children that made other children believe such behaviour was appropriate and legitimised. In addition she made inappropriate physical contact with pupils who on some occasions were vulnerable children with special educational needs."

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