12 December 2007
Teacher wins tribunal for unfair dismissal on the grounds of sexual and racial discrimination
A teacher has won her claim of unfair dismissal on the grounds of sexual and racial discrimination.
Samantha Burmis was dismissed from Aylesford School, a secondary school situated in Kent, after reporting two colleagues for smoking drugs while on a school trip.
In addition to taking the drugs, she alleged that one of the individuals had been sexually harassing her over a long period of time.
However, after reporting her co-workers, Ms Burmis was sacked for gross misconduct for, among other things, consuming alcohol herself while on the school trip.
She told an employment tribunal that since joining the school in 2001 she had suffered racist abuse.
The hearing criticised the school's handling of Ms Burmis' complaint, described the response of the deputy head teacher to the allegations of sexual harassment as "totally inappropriate" and stated that racist abuse from pupils towards the teacher had been allowed to continue.