A teaching assistant at a Burnley school has spoken out in a national newspaper this weekend, claiming he was left on the verge of suicide after “seven months of hell” at the hands of violent and racist pupils.
Khalid Akram (34) says the catalogue of abuse he suffered included being kicked by one boy who also vowed to rape his wife and murder his two children; another slashed his arm with a pair of maths compasses and a girl punched him in the face after unleashing a torrent of four-letter race hate.
But Khalid alleged to the Sunday People that bosses at the Rose School, for young people who special needs, ignored his pleas for help, despite incidents being caught on CCTV, and he was also subjected to racism by a colleague. Khalid claims he was targeted from the day he started work in January 2009.
And, despite an Ofsted report which claims the Rose School has promoted community cohesion, Khalid insists he had evidence of institutional racism and kept a diary of abuse.
He is to face an employment tribunal in September after being fired by the school in July 2009 for alleged dishonesty and falsifying his CV to get the job.
Khalid says he will argue the failure of the school to deal with the abuse led to post traumatic stress disorder, which he said has been diagnosed by two psychiatrists. He also denies the allegations of dishonesty.
Lancashire County Council has declined to comment on the case as “the matter is subject to the legal process”.
However, the Sunday People reports a school source as stating: “The Rose is for children with behavioural and emotional issues and they can be difficult.
“Many staff get verbal and physical abuse and a lot of the kids, because of their nature, pick on anything they see as a weakness.
“No one condones violent behaviour by children but the staff at The Rose do all they can to manage it and to make sure both pupils and teachers have a safe place to study and work in.”
See this week’s Express for more on this story.