Teacher grabs boy, 7, by scruff of neck as dad watched because he had muddy feet
16th December 2018

A teacher grabbed a seven-year-old boy by the scruff of his neck – unaware that the lad’s dad was standing at the classroom door.

Martin Gilham lost his temper because little Robbie Rayner and other pupils had come into class with mud on their shoes.

So he dragged tearful Robbie out – and frogmarched him straight into the arms of his dad. Gilham apologised but was sacked and found guilty of using “excessive and unnecessary force” at a tribunal.

Dad Rob Rayner, 38, said: “I had just dropped Robbie off at the classroom and there were other kids who had gone in with muddy shoes.

“Robbie didn’t have the tiniest bit of dirt on his shoes but Gilham went straight for him, despite him being the smallest kid in his class. He yelled something like, ‘I will not have muddy feet in my classroom’.

“He grabbed Robbie by the scruff of his neck and dragged him about five metres to the door. Robbie’s clothes were up behind his ears. He was crying his eyes out. He jumped straight into my arms.”

Mr Gilham was said to have gone “as white as a sheet” when he realised that Rob had witnessed the whole incident at Northdown Primary in Margate, Kent.

Rob said: “He wasn’t aware that I was still at the door to the classroom.

“He looked shocked, let go and said, ‘That was out of order, I’m sorry’. I was angry. I had to control myself.

“If there weren’t other kids around, I’d probably have dragged him out to the car park and stamped on his head. He had no right to put his hands on my son.” Robbie, now nine, has moved to Palm Bay Primary after struggling with lessons after the incident in February last year.

“He was really unsettled and he stopped wanting to be at school,” said Mr Rayner, a retail worker who is married to Claire, 37, an NHS worker. “Nearly two years on, he’s at a new school and starting to enjoy education again.”

Mr Gilham was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by the Teaching Regulation Agency in Coventry. His punishment will be announced later.

Mr Rayner, who gave evidence at the hearing, said: “Gilham had a reputation for being strict and other parents had run-ins with him. He was quite abrupt.”

A school spokesman said: “Following allegations of misconduct relating to a teacher, an internal investigation was immediately instigated. We take all allegations of wrongdoing very seriously.”

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