Mike Barile, Teacher Convicted Of Assaulting Pupils, Barred From Teaching For Life
The decision to ban a former teacher convicted of assaulting two pupils at his school from the profession has provoked accusations he is the target of a "witch hunt".
Mike Barile, from Dundee, was found guilty of two assaults in 2008 after an incident at Lawside Academy in Dundee but the Appeal Court gave him an absolute discharge after concluding he had been severely provoked.
Sheriff Charles Macnair sympathised with the former Dundee United FC director, saying he had been subjected to "extreme abuse" from pupils.
The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) heard Barile had been called a "paedo" and a "f***ing beast" and had been told to "f*** off" by a pupil. Another student had called him a "walking penis", the council was told.
At the recent hearing held by the (GTCS), Barile faced 10 charges of aggressive and threatening behaviour towards both pupils and staff. The council examined complaints submitted over a two-year period between 2006 and 2008 at Madras College, Fife and Lawside Academy.
The GTCS found eight out of the 10 accusations against Barile, who pleaded not guilty to all the charges, to be true.
- Telephoning a teacher and putting them in a "state of fear and alarm"
- Engaging in "aggressive and threatening behaviour" towards three female teachers, with Barile shouting at one teacher in front of a class of pupils
- Grabbing a female pupil by the arm
Barile also grabbed one pupil by the clothing and pushed him off a chair, pinned another against a wall and pulled a third by the hair, causing the front legs of his chair to leave the ground.
The council added Barile had a "radically different perspective of the gravity of the encounter or conversation, in contrast to that of the witness in question".
Barile, who qualified as a teacher in 1981, claimed he had been assaulted by a pupil in 2007 but his complaint of the incident was ignored by the head of Madras College, Lindsay Matheson.
Barile was suspended as a result, which he said left him feeling "victimised". At the time, Matheson said he was "very disappointed" the pupils of Madras were being portrayed as lawless and undisciplined.
"Throughout the charges the sub committee saw a pattern of behaviour in which the respondent used physical contact to control pupils' movement and reacted to some colleagues in an aggressive and threatening manner," the council concluded.
"The committee is in no doubt that physical contact was unwarranted and excessive and the respondent's treatment of his colleagues was wholly inappropriate."
"When I got the absolute discharge, I thought it was the end of this mess.
"I could understand if I was applying for a teaching post but I've not applied for anything and I'm not interested in doing so, so I don't know why they're doing this," he said.
According to local paper The Courier, Barile's wife Moira has now taken up the "witch hunt" cry.
"I think the decision is absolutely appalling. Ordinary teachers all over the country would be horrified to know their money is being spent in this way.
"The whole thing was a huge waste of time and money and was basically just a witch hunt against my husband.''
The panel added Barile showed no remorse, nor did he acknowledge the impact on the victims, saying that "[Barile] went to considerable lengths to discredit the schools in which he worked and the colleagues and pupils with whom he worked, in order to justify his actions."