Shocked staff listened in disbelief as a teacher at the centre of a row over a list allegedly naming poorly behaved pupils at a Dundee high school called an ex-pupil a “little besom” in her farewell speech.
The retiring teacher addressed staff on her final day at Grove Academy last week.
A list drawn up by the teacher the previous week had been left behind in a hotel following her retirement party and circulated on social media as a list of the school’s worst-ever behaved pupils.
The teacher claimed it was a list of those pupils she had given particular help to during her career.
One name on the list was that of a woman about to go on trial for murder and another was a boy confined to a wheelchair after a suicide attempt when he was just 14.
The Courier has been contacted by several people named on the poster, all of whom dispute they received help from the teacher.
Now it has emerged the teacher made an unrepentant farewell speech where she maintained the poster named those she had helped in her career before discussing pupils she had disciplined.
A source present at the meeting said: “There was a presentation for retiring staff and she made a speech where she stood up and said the list was about pupils she had encountered in her career and had an impact on.
“She then said ‘I remember the first pupil I disciplined in Shetland. I had to come down hard on her… and I’m not going to deny she was a little besom’.”
The source said the teacher then jokingly told her colleagues: “Don’t quote me on that — I’ve had enough trouble this week. I’ve even had to remove myself from Facebook.”
The source also claimed rector Graham Hutton referenced the poster in his speech and claimed reporting of the furore was unfair.
He reportedly said: “The three Js certainly don’t exist any more and I would question if the last ever did.”
The source said: “Staff are disgusted by it all. We have a duty of care to these pupils and for pupils’ names to be recorded over a number of years as she has done is a breach of data protection.
“I would hope that the parents are angry about this because they have to wonder what other lists have been kept.
“Why did she have that list out of school? It should never have been out of the school.
“There may be child protection issues around some of those names.”
Last week Dundee City Council said the teacher had created the poster as a reminder of “individuals she felt she had made a difference to and supported during her time in the classroom and in the school in general”.
When approached again, the local authority said they would not be making any further comment on the row.