Censorial Employment Ethics

Employers imposing their morals on employees

4th April

Update: Jail Escort...

Policewoman admits misconduct in public office for working as escort girl

A policewoman admitted working as a high-class call girl when she appeared before a judge.

PC Victoria Thorne was among a number of women working for the Notorious Girls escort agency, appearing on its website in provocative poses and using the name Kelly.

The officer admitted misconduct in a public office when she appeared at Newcastle Crown Court and was remanded in custody.

The case was adjourned for the preparation of a pre-sentence report but her barrister John Elvidge made no application for her bail to be extended.

Judge John Evans adjourned the case and told her: You have pleaded guilty to this matter for which you will be given appropriate credit in due course. In the meantime you must remain in custody.

Thorne appeared in court alongside six others, all charged with offences relating to prostitution. They are charged with conspiracy to manage brothels for prostitution and conspiracy to control prostitutes for gain.

Thorne will be sentenced later.


4th April

Comment: An Unglamorous Profession...

Teacher disciplined for glamour pictures on personal website

Natasha Gray's interests include physical exercise and dance - but the fact that she teaches these subjects at a secondary school has landed her in hot water.

The part-time model's revealing online portfolio was already common knowledge among secondary pupils when an irate parent wrote to Manor Community School in Cambridge to complain about the 'provocative pictures'.

Gray, who was voted Britain's sexiest teacher in an ITV competition in 2002, was immediately ordered to remove the photos on her 'Tasha' home page.

She was at work as usual yesterday after her behaviour was classed as misconduct rather than gross misconduct, but she is facing a severe reprimand.

Head teacher Ben Slade said the photos are certainly a disciplinary matter but that Miss Gray will not be suspended. He said teachers could have second jobs as long as it did not affect their work. But he claimed: This behaviour has brought the school into disrepute. It will be dealt with most severely and will certainly be a disciplinary matter.

Miss Gray's father Barry, a personal trainer, said he was proud of his daughter and that her modelling shots were 'tasteful'.

Comment: A Kick up the Headmaster's Orifice

4th April 2009. Thanks to Alan

What a sanctimonious pillock this headmaster is! The pictures of the teacher are totally innocuous.

This seems to be yet another example of the "profession" illusion among head teachers - insisting that teachers, perfectly routine waged white-collar workers, are members of a "profession" like some barrister on half a million a year.

If anybody's bringing the school into disrepute it's the idiot boss. I hope that the relevant teachers' union will back the woman to the hilt and suggest to the headmaster a suitable orifice into which to insert his arrogant "order" to take down the pictures.


7th April

Update: Save Miss Rusty's Job...

More teachers under duress for fictional story

A teacher has been suspended after writing 'fictional' book in which her pupils feature.

Leonora Rustamova has been suspended from her post, along with a colleague, prompting mass demonstrations by pupils and a campaign by parents to have them reinstated.

The story, Stop! Don't Read This! appeared on a self-publishing website. Although it is claimed to be all invention, it features five genuine teenage pupils at Calder High School in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire.

It contains swearwords, has children skipping lessons, refers to a pupil flirting with a teacher and compares two youngsters to gorgeous Mr Gay UK finalists . The story names several teachers, including real headmaster Stephen Ball, and features pupils missing lessons, stealing phones and setting themselves on fire.

One pupil is described as fantasising and flirting with 39-year-old Miss Rustamova, while she says she would do anything for a smile from another. She writes: It's getting harder and harder to see them just as kids.

Pupils at Calder High School have set up a Facebook page asking for teachers Leonora Rustamova and Steve Cann's jobs to be saved following the publication of her book Stop! Don't Read This!

The suspensions prompted hundreds of pupils to hold mass demonstrations and create internet pressure groups supporting the pair. Former pupil Travis Downs one of those featured in the book, said pupils were now allowed to wear badges supporting the teachers on their coats but not on their school uniforms.

According to Friends of Rusty and Steve , a campaign group set up to reinstate the teachers, Cann was suspended for having the guts to stand up for Rusty. It is understood he took over her class after her suspension.

Chris Ratcliffe, a parent of former pupils, said the book was a work of fiction, even though some characters are based on real people. He added: I don't think there's anything there that would concern parents, unless they're Mary Whitehouse types. It's no worse than TV shows like Skins, and just as fictional. I mean, drug dealers under Calder High isn't going to happen.

Another of the named pupils, who has since left for college, said: I can understand why parents might not be happy. But of the five main characters all of us and our parents were fine with it. We like it. It helped us take school seriously.'


26th February

Update: Teaching Ethics...

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So who decides the morality expected of teachers in their private lives?

A teacher who ran a pornography business has been suspended for six months.

Andrew Miles, an IT teacher at Unity School in Northampton, a Church of England college, was actively involved in the running and promotion of the explicit website which was readily available to the public, the teaching watchdog said Mr Miles was found guilty of bringing the reputation and standing of the teaching profession into serious disrepute by the General Teaching Council (GTC).

The watchdog pointed out that he had not committed a criminal offence but said his actions were incompatible with the behaviour which is expected of registered teachers .

The council considered lesser sanctions including a disciplinary order or a formal reprimand, but they did not think them severe enough to match the wrongdoing.


1st March

Update: Can't Listen to Reason...

Hearing Aid Council impose wildly disproportionate penalty for a few porn pics found on a work computer

The director of a hearing aid company, was struck off from his trade association and handed a £30,000 legal costs bill. He had been caught with a few porn images on a computer used for testing customers' ears.

He has launched a High Court fight to salvage his career. Jason Saunders, the director and part owner of Eastbourne Specsavers Hearcare Ltd, was discovered in April 2007 with 15 pornographic images, on the same work computer that he used to carry out hearing tests on clients, his barrister, Jamie Carpenter, told London's High Court.

Saunders was additionally found to have posted a naked picture of himself on the work PC, which was also used to program hearing aids, the barrister added. A police investigation was mounted, though no prosecution followed, and Saunders resigned from his job soon afterwards, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, was told.

He was struck of the list of registered dispensers of hearing aids by the Hearing Aid Council on February 9 this year, and ordered to pay £30,000 in legal costs. The Hearing Aid Council struck off Saunders, having found that he had fallen below the standard of conduct required for his position.

This week his lawyers asked Mrs Justice Davies to overturn both the council's decision to erase his name from the the register and the huge costs bill. Carpenter argued that the sanction of erasure was disproportionate and the costs order excessive in the circumstances. The committee did not say what aspect of Mr Saunders' overall conduct was fundamentally incompatible with his practice as a hearing aid dispenser. They certainly didn't conclude that he posed any risk of harm to his patients, the barrister said. The images themselves were not illegal and there were relatively few of them. The question of professional misconduct only arose because of his use of a work computer. The committee gave insufficient weight to the fact that he had deleted the images a year before discovery, and the fact that he had already lost his job and livelihood.

Mrs Justice Davies reserved her judgement, following a half day hearing, to be given at a later date, yet to be set.


2nd April

Update: Made to Listen to Reason...

Hearing Aid Council's wildly disproportionate penalty for a few porn pics found to be 'excessive' by the High Court

A director of a hearing aid company who kept a few adult pornographic images on a work computer in a file named Dirty won a High Court battle against being struck off.

Hearing aid dispenser Jason Saunders, part-owner of Eastbourne Specsavers Hearcare Ltd, was disciplined after storing images on a computer kept in a room used for hearing aid tests.

They were discovered in April 2007 after a locum hearing aid dispenser used the computer in his absence. The court heard Saunders, of Compton Street, Eastbourne, East Sussex, thought he had deleted them, but thumbnail versions remained stored on the computer and were revealed when a USB memory stick was inserted by the locum. He later resigned from his business.

Saunders challenged a decision of the Hearing Aid Council's disciplinary committee in February last year to strike him off the register for serious misconduct and to make a £30,000 costs order against him.

But Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, sitting at the High Court in London, allowed his appeal and ruled the disciplinary committee's findings were flawed. The judge said there was no challenge to the finding that he was in breach of his code of conduct and had behaved unprofessionally and wholly inappropriately. But the images were not illegal and striking off was excessive.

She substituted a period of six months suspension from practice and quashed the costs order, which had already been reduced to £11,270.

The judge said Saunders' conduct was confined as to time and place and he had done all he reasonably believed possible to eradicate the pictures from the computer. The judge said: The committee made no reference to the fact that the images were not illegal and had been deleted for at least a year prior to their discovery . There was also no sound evidential basis for a finding that Saunders was guilty of a sustained course of conduct and repeated downloading and storing .



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