An art teacher who head-butted a pupil in class and broke his tooth has been banned from the classroom for two years.
Mark Lonnie, 53, launched at the lad, known as Pupil A, after he shouted abuse at him when he ordered him to leave his classroom.
Lonnie was teaching the youngster at Wilds Lodge School – a residential school for pupils with emotional and behavioural problems in Empingham, Leics., when he attacked him in May 2009.
A disciplinary hearing at the Teaching Agency heard Lonnie intervened in a dispute between Pupil A and another student when the attack happened.
Lonnie ordered Pupil A out of the classroom but was subject to “verbal abuse.”
The panel stated: “Pupil A pushed Mr Lonnie in the chest using both of his hands. In response, Mr Lonnie head-butted Pupil A.
“Pupil A sustained a bloodied mouth and a chipped tooth.”
The panel heard Lonnie received a police caution for common assault following the incident.
They found that he was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct but said he was “not considered to pose a threat to pupils and was not a violent, confrontational man.”
The panel stated the attack was a “spontaneous reaction in a one-off, extreme situation” and Lonnie acted “under serious threat to his physical well-being.”
The panel did not impose any sanctions but the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) handed Lonnie a two-year teaching ban.
Spokesman Paul Heathcote said: “The behaviour involved, head-butting a pupil on the school’s premises, and whilst there is a level of mitigation evidenced, Mr Lonnie had been trained in appropriate techniques to manage such behaviour at this and other schools.
“He should have been aware of techniques to de-escalate the situation.”
He added that the TA panel had “not sufficiently balanced the mitigation with the level of violence.”
He said: “In all the circumstances I have decided that a prohibition order is an
appropriate and proportionate sanction in the public interest and in line with the advice.”
Lonnie can appeal the ban by going to the High Court.
Leave a Reply