Socialist Worker

Teachers back strikes to defend sacked teacher Tony Souter

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2248

Teachers at a Warwickshire school have voted for strikes to defend sacked teacher Tony Souter in an indicative ballot.

Tony is an NUT union rep at Kingsbury secondary school and also the secretary of Warwickshire NUT.

Tony’s employer charged him with gross misconduct and dismissed him from his job on 25 March. He is appealing against the decision.

Tony told Socialist Worker, “I’ve had lots of support from teaching unions and fellow teachers. We should never underestimate the impact of little things like sending messages of support.

“It keeps you going and gives you confidence to fight back.”

Tony was sacked after a single incident in one of his science lessons.

Last November, a student was hit by a piece of potassium during a lesson.

A safety screen was used, in accordance with the school’s health and safety practices, and the appropriate medical procedures were followed.

Tony followed the correct school process in reporting the incident.

He has worked at the school for 18 years and has an unblemished health and safety record.

Neither the child nor parent made a complaint about Tony’s conduct.

The head teacher says goggles should have been used.

This has not been the standard practice in the school—and goggles would not have prevented the accident.

NUT members believe that Tony’s head teacher has used the incident as an excuse to get rid of an effective trade unionist.

Tony is set to meet with NUT officials at the union’s annual conference in Harrogate this week to discuss the initiation of a formal strike ballot against his victimisation.

His appeal hearing will take place on 18 May.

Send messages of support to [email protected] and messages of protest to the head teacher, Simon Cotton, to [email protected]

Get in touch with the campaign at Defend Tony Souter, c/o 50 Oaston Road, Warwickshire, CV11 6JZ.

Download the » Defend Tony Souter petition

Download the » Defend Tony Souter motion

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