Teacher who made lewd and racist comments to pupils struck off
A history teacher who made lewd remarks about “sixty-niners”, “Brazilians” and sex with twins has been struck off the teaching register.
David McGhee also asked a “non-Caucasian” pupil: “Are you sure you’re not a terrorist?” during a class at Hazelhead Academy in Aberdeen.
Mr McGhee, who taught religious education, history and modern studies, was working at two schools in Aberdeen when he made a string of inappropriate comments between 2011 and 2013.
The teacher, who volunteers at a local church, tried and failed to have his hearing at the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) in Edinburgh held in private last month.
While working at Harlaw Academy Mr McGhee said: “Every man’s dream, twins. Perhaps it’s every woman’s too?” in reference to siblings aged between 14 and 15-years-old.
The 51-year-old also told a female colleague how pupils kept shouting “Sixty-nine” when he entered his classroom.
He told the teacher: “Remember I spoke to you before about...coming into my class from PSE and talking about ‘sixty-niners’ well I had to have words with two pupils for shouting out sixty-nine when I walked into their class.”
At the same school, Mr McGhee told another female teacher in her classroom how he and his wife had picked up a leaflet for a brothel during a past visit to Vienna, Austria.
He also told her that during another trip with his wife to Germany a person had directed him to a “pornkino”- believed to mean a porn website.
On another occasion Mr McGhee told a fourth year pupil that “It is possible to get an Egyptian down there along the lines of a Brazilian.”
This was in reference to shaving around a bikini line after a pupil made a comment about how another pupil’s haircut made her “look like an Egyptian”.
He also repeated jokes while pupils were around about how David and Victoria Beckham named their son Brooklyn after where he was conceived.
He claimed a comedian had referred to where his own children had been conceived and gave them names including ‘Hall Stair Carpet’ and ‘Front Room Settee’.
In March 2013, Mr McGhee, who also volunteers for the Scouts, told one pupil at Hazelhead Academy: “Are you sure you are not a terrorist, that’s alright then, at least you are not putting poison on the door handle.”
The panel, in their written decision, said they were satisfied the remark was of a racist nature despite Mr McGhee saying he was merely referencing a 1997 film called Jackal.
Mr McGhee did not appear at the hearing and was not represented but sent a letter in which he denied all the allegations.
The panel said they were concerned that Mr McGhee was “ seeking to frustrate the proceedings and avoid the hearing” after constantly using excuses to delay the hearing.
During the hearing, Stuart Craig, Deputy Head Teacher at Hazelhead Academy, Aberdeen, gave evidence about how he was called in to investigate.
Mr Craig said Harlaw Academy wanted the matter treated informally.
He told the hearing: “In my opinion, in their response to this, Harlaw Academy failed in their duty to support pupils and staff. If these allegations were made by pupils or staff I’d expect formal interviews. In a matter of such seriousness a member of staff would probably be suspended.
“It’s concerning that allegations of racist and sexual remarks were not being reviewed with rigour.”
Another witness, Director of Education and Children’s Services Gail Gorman, said Mr McGhee was held in high regard by colleagues as someone who was “highly professional”.
He also acted as a marker for the SQA of which Mrs Gorman said: “As part of that you have to be an experienced teacher, very familiar with the curriculum, application of marking systems and very skilled and up to date with all levels of assessment.”
However, she also stated that he had shown little regret over the issues which arose with his teaching methods.
The hearing was told that Mr McGhee previously came to the attention of the GTCS in 2010.
He was suspended for over seven months and given a written warning for remarks to a pupil about internet porn.
in striking off the teacher, the GTCS panel concluded: “Many of the allegations involved a course of conduct of a sexual nature towards female colleagues.
“The conduct also included inappropriate conversations with pupils. One of them had been racist in nature.
“The panel concluded that both the teacher’s professional competence and conduct fell significantly short of the standards expected and, therefore, found that he is currently unfit to teach.”