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Mother of 10-year-old boy
"I think putting her in prison would be too much"
 real 28k

Monday, 17 July, 2000, 12:50 GMT 13:50 UK
Pupil mistreatment claims discussed
Head teacher Marjorie Evans
Head teacher Marjorie Evans may be jailed
Staff at a school whose head could face prison after being convicted of assaulting a pupil are meeting to discuss new claims of mistreatment of children.

A police inquiry has already begun into claims that pupils at a school where the head teacher was found guilty in court of hitting a 10-year-old boy have been "treated inappropriately by members of staff".

Head teacher Marjorie Evans, 56, from Usk, in Monmouthshire, was found guilty by a stipendiary magistrate on Friday of striking the boy following a confrontation between herself and the pupil last September.

But the mother of the pupil who was assaulted has told BBC Wales that while she thought the verdict on the headtecher was correct, she did not think she should go to prison.

Gethin Lewis, NUT
Gethin Lewis NUT: Union to appeal
"The magistrate had a really, really hard decision to make, " said the mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

"But I think putting her in prison would be too much."

Mrs Evans had maintained that she had done nothing more than restrain the boy.

But magistrate Vivian Manning-Davies said he found the case against her proved and told Mrs Evans he had not ruled out a custodial sentence.

The ruling has been postponed for two weeks for pre-sentence reports.

Following the case, Monmouthshire County Council said it was investigating fresh claims of "inappropriate behaviour by members of staff" as a matter of urgency.

Assault

The inquiry is being carried out through Gwent Police, social services and the education department.

Acting director of education Phil Cooke said the allegations did not contain any suggestion of inappropriate sexual behaviour, but of inappropriate "physical handling and emotional responses to children".

NUT Wales secretary Gethin Lewis has said his union was already planning to appeal against the guilty verdict in the assault case.

During the case Mrs Evans - a teacher for 35 years - had told the court that she was restraining the boy after he tried to push, punch and headbutt her at her village junior school.

Slapped

But the boy told the court: "The argument broke out over work we were keeping in trays in the classroom.

"She grabbed me and took me outside. She picked my trays up and pushed them against my chest.

"I pushed her and she fell backwards onto the bench.

"I was trying to run away and then she slapped me across the face."

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13 Jun 00 | Wales
Teacher denies slap claim
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