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Accused of assaulting a child

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by tesat, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. A colleague has been accused of assaulting a child. I was present and have been told I will have to give a statement to the police. Do I have to agree and if so should I have Union representation. Incident took place in my classroom, also SMT member witnessed. What are my rights and what should I do?
  2. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    Why would you need your Union?
    An alleged crime has taken place. You were a witness. You give the statement of what you saw and heard to the police. Hardly difficult.
  3. I would agree with Crowbob. Not sure what the Issue is - what are you scared of happening if you tell the truth? Is it a case that your worried it will go against you?
  4. My impression and that of the SLT differ somewhat. IMO they want this colleague out and this is a very convenient occurrence. Very thin line between our interpretations. But if I give my honest account I go against SLT, go along with SLT account then I risk ruining a very competent colleagues career. Just not comfortable with the position in which I find myself.
  5. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    You tell the truth, as you saw it. Your union can't possibly advise you to do anything different.
    It is perfectly acceptable (and foreseeable) that witnesses don't always share the same view of the same event.
  6. I guess you are right but I still fell uncomfortable. Thanks for the advice anyway.
  7. strawbs

    strawbs Occasional commenter

    I would speak to my union rep about it and let them know your concerns. Depending where the police statement takes place (ie might not need to be at police station) then you could ask the union rep to come along with you as a "concerned friend".
  8. would get in touch with your union - just encase you require their support in the future. "The truth will prevail" - I have confidence in this statement. I was accused by a parent of something not to dissimilar, and the SLT seemed to go along with the parent. Fortunately the whole allegation fell apart and was dismissed within a few days. If you are in the police interview do not 'guess' at anything - if they require dates and times be specific. If you have 'evidence' such as plans/ evaluations do mention these - the police can always contact you after the interview for specifics.
  9. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    You answer questions as asked honestly using clear and unemotive language.
  10. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    Are you really willing to lie just to protect yourself and ruin someone else's life?
    I suggest that if you are that frightened you contact your union as the trouble with bullies is that if they destroy their target they turn on someone else, which could well be you.
  11. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    You need to give your account of what happened exactly as you saw it. Nothing more or less.

    You know that thing about 'the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth', generally expected in police statements. You may even have to swear to that ideal.

    Union advice shouldn't be needed unless you are in the frame for anything.
  12. I must state that at no point have I said I would or have even contemplated lying, however I am aware of the possible implications of my statement. Not everything is black and white and yes I do fear the possible implications for myself. I think its a witch hunt and don't want anything to do with it. I will go with my gut instinct and get the union involved. Thanks for all the comments
  13. At the start of this thread you were very clearly debating what course of action to take and considering refusing to make a statement if you couldn't be made to. I find that absolutely horrifying, given that as another poster pointed out, the life and career of a colleague are in the balance. Disgusting.
  14. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    If you are clear that you saw something did or did not happen - you must say so.
    If, however, you didn't see - or are unsure what actually happened - you must say that.
  15. You are the disgusting one as you have got the wrong end of the stick. What I witnessed could be interpreted in two different ways and I do not want any part of adversely affecting 'the life and career of a colleague' I was looking for advice not condescending comments. You can keep them to yourself. Have you never been in a dilemma, what a wonderful world world you live in Irritable Commie. My OP asked if I needed union representation, so if you cant comment on that go do one.
  16. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit New commenter

    When I was involved in a similar incident, the advice from my solicitor brother was to answer only things that I could give an answer to based on what I saw (no guessing, no trying to give the answer that I thought they wanted to hear etc). If I didn't know, I had to say that and not allow myself to be led to a conclusion that the police wanted.
    His other bit of advice was that I did not need anyone with me but if they wanted to record my interview, then I was to ask for a lawyer to be present
    By the way, someone needs to change their name to IrritatingCommie [​IMG]
  17. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    You job won't be asked to give any kind of interpretation. You just need to say what you saw and heard. It is not up to you to interpret. You need to give the facts and leave those in judgement to make their own interpretations.
    I don't see that you have a dilemma here. All you need to do is say what you saw and heard and that is that. No dilemma at all and you don't need any representation for that.

  18. Thanks for the non-judgemental advice, all taken on board.

    Found your final comment very apt, thanks. Put a smile on my face.

    Have spoken to the union who are willing to support me in any way possible including accompanying me at any interview. They empathised with my position and said it was very understandable and common to have reservation in this type of situation.

    I will think twice about posting again though
  19. I can well understand your apprehensions, tesat. I think you indicated that the school wanted one outcome from this nvestigation and that you might be in for future trouble if your statement did not give this outcome.
  20. Virtual high-five.

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