Belfast Telegraph

Claim teacher wrote on pupil's head with marker probed

St Lawrence’s Primary School in Fintona
St Lawrence’s Primary School in Fintona
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

An investigation has been launched after a Co Tyrone primary school teacher reportedly wrote on a pupil's forehead with a marker.

The Ulster Herald reports that a pupil at St Lawrence's PS in Fintona was "humiliated in front of laughing classmates" and "left in tears" as a result.

The newspaper was contacted by a concerned parent who said that a member of the teaching staff wrote the word 'capital' on the child's forehead with a marker after they "struggled to grasp the concept of capital letters".

"When the child cried at the humiliation, the teacher joined in with the rest of the class in laughing," the parent said.

They added: "This type of behaviour is something from another era which we all thought we had left behind.

"It is disappointing that a qualified teacher seemed to think this behaviour was appropriate."

The Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS) confirmed that it is aware of the incident.

A CCMS spokesman said yesterday: "We are aware of the matter and that it is being dealt with by the school's board of governors in accordance with their safeguarding procedures."

St Lawrence's PS was contacted yesterday for a comment but did not respond to the request.

Northern Ireland's Commissioner for Children and Young People Koulla Yiasouma said the report of the incident was "cause for concern".

She added: "While the relevant authorities continue to deal with the incident, it is not in the interests of those affected for me to comment.

"However, this type of allegation gives me cause for concern and I would urge any parents or guardians of children who feel that any complaints that they have made have not been adequately handled to contact my office."

Meanwhile a separate probe is continuing after a schoolboy with autism was left strapped inside a bus on his own for several hours last month.

The eight-year-old, who is understood to have non-verbal autism, was left on the bus at an Education Authority (EA) depot in Killyclogher for four hours on July 2.

He was due to attend a summer scheme at Arvalee School and Resource Centre in nearby Omagh.

The boy was only discovered when a depot worker walked past the vehicle.

A spokeswoman for the EA said the boy's family had received a "full written apology" while an investigation into the matter is "still ongoing".

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