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Cutting ‘isolated incident that got out of hand’
3:33pm Wednesday 30th April 2014 in Headlines
A RINGWOOD teacher who taught pupils how to cut themselves with craft knives to paint with blood has been allowed to continue teaching.
Sandra Kennedy, 54, was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by a National College of Teaching and Leadership panel.
However they concluded that the incident at the private Ringwood Waldorf School on March 19 last year was “isolated” and “got out of hand”.
Spokesman Paul Heathcote said: “No pupils were significantly harmed in the incident.
“The panel has considered a range of compelling testimonials describing Ms Kennedy as an excellent teacher with exceptional professional skills.
“The panel is clear that this is an isolated mistake which Ms Kennedy regrets.
“In all these circumstances I agree with the panel’s recommen dation that it would not be in the public interest to impose a prohibition order.”
The panel heard Ms Kennedy showed two Year 9 art history pupils at the £7,500-a-year school how to draw blood from their fingertips with craft knives – each using a new blade – after the pair expressed an interest in painting in blood.
However by the end of the session, 13 pupils had left the main classroom to share blood with the painters and returned with cuts to their arms.
Ms Kennedy applied antiseptic and reported the incident to her colleagues.
“We have taken into account Ms Kennedy’s observation that she was alarmed at what occurred and she acknowledges in her letter that the lesson had ‘veered into an unsafe situation’ and ‘I had let it get out of control’,” states the panel’s findings.
“We acknowledge that Ms Kennedy probably did not intend matters to develop in the way that occurred and her intention was only that the two female pupils who had asked to be allowed to paint with their own blood should be involved.”
Nigel Revill, senior management team administrator at the school, said it would not re-employ Ms Kennedy.
“The teacher concerned resigned during our internal disciplinary procedure, which was invoked when the incident came to light,” he said.
“We were not involved in the hearing and we have no intention of reinstating the teacher.
“We hope this brings the matter to a close.”
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