Page last updated at 17:32 GMT, Friday, 18 April 2008 18:32 UK

Nurse sacked after smacking son

Susan Pope
Mrs Pope said the family is now reconciled

A former school nurse is to take legal action after she was sacked for smacking her 10-year-old son at home.

Susan Pope, from Malvern in Worcestershire, was arrested and her children taken from her after her eldest son reported her to police.

She said she was detained for 32 hours by West Mercia Police after the incident in May last year.

She said she was taking action against her former employers, social services and the force.

Charges against her have since been dropped and her son has withdrawn the accusations. The family has been reconciled.

She said she intended to pursue a claim for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment against the police.

The nanny state has come down on us with a sledgehammer to crack a nut and criminalised us for something that is not a criminal offence
Susan Pope

Mrs Pope, who worked at Malvern St James School, told BBC News that she smacked her son when he started swearing at her.

"We were having quite serious teenage rebellion problems with our eldest son and our middle son started swearing at me," she said.

"I warned him that I would smack him and he did not stop swearing at me so, I smacked him."

She said she reacted to news of her sacking in January with "complete shock and horror".

But the school said it sacked her because her children were on the child protection register.

In a statement, it said that as the senior school nurse, Mrs Pope was required to have unsupervised contact with children when they are particularly vulnerable and they could not afford to take any chances.

"I have been a practising nurse for 25 years. I have an unblemished career with the NHS," she added.

"The nanny state has come down on us with a sledgehammer to crack a nut and criminalised us for something that is not a criminal offence."




RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific