Friday, September 28, 2012

A good idea

Apparently part of the 2011 education Act gives teachers (and other educators) the right to anonymity if accused or suspected of some form of assault (physical or sexual) by a pupil or parent of a pupil. They key is in the word 'suspected' in other words they aren't actually guilty of anything (as yet) not that some agree with such protection...
Members of the public, the media and even the police could be banned from automatically naming teachers in cases such as that in which Jeremy Forrest fled the country with his pupil, Megan Stammers, it has emerged.
From Monday, anyone who names a staff member at the centre of a criminal allegation made by or on behalf of a child, could face prosecution or a £5,000 fine.
The power, enshrined in the 2011 Education Act, is being introduced to protect innocent teachers against malicious claims from pupils and parents, but critics fear that the legislation has gone too far and will hamper investigations and stifle free speech.
Police chiefs, politicians and senior lawyers specialising in media, have criticised the law, with some warning that it could hamper missing person investigations, such as the one involving Megan.
The 'Megan' case is an interesting one, she appears at least to be a willing victim and they've escaped to a country where the age limit is lower (supposedly).
That said, technically what the teacher has done is abduction/kidnapping and wouldn't really be covered by the anonymity law, this simply appears to be a case of the Telegraph making mischief. Though I suppose it's always possible for the justice system to take the provisions of the act far further than they were designed, it wouldn't be the first time...
Yet I have to ask myself if this law is good enough for the teaching industry, would it also not be applicable to those men who are simply accused (not found guilty) of rape or sexual assault? Julia at Ambush Predator blog has a catalogue of cases where men have had their lives ruined, their DNA taken and held in custody their names being spread all over the MSM on the say so of women, whom when it's been investigated have merely been crying wolf rape. Yet the women have had their anonymity protected until they are found out.
Seems there's now one law for teachers and another for the rest of us...

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