The Coordination Forum for Countering Antisemitism

PE teacher could be banned from teaching after calling pupil ‘Poofy Jew’

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Livingston, West Lothian – A teacher put a bowl on the back of a pupil’s head and made a homophobic and antisemitic remark, a court has heard.

Teacher Darren Marr repeatedly slapped Josh Harper on the back of the head before the incident at a school in Livingston, West Lothian, the pupil claimed.

The claim was made during Mr Marr’s trial at Livingston Sheriff Court, for assault and acting in a racially aggravated and homophobic manner. He denies the charges.

Mr Harper, 16, said the teacher appeared to think what he was doing was a joke as did most of the class who laughed at the 16-year-old.

However, he said that he had been bullied because his complaint had resulted in the popular teacher being suspended.

Mr Harper said he was preparing an exercise when the teacher came up behind him and slapped him so hard across the back of the head it hurt.

The court heard when he told him he could not hit him, he was slapped again on the back of the head.

He added: “I said: Go on, keep hitting me then and he slapped me a further four or five times.”

“The people closest to me were shocked but the other people in the class were laughing.”

Mr Harper said he felt humiliated when the teacher a bowl from the classroom windowsill and put it on the back of his head.

He added: “He called me a Poofy Jew. I just felt he was trying to humiliate me in front of the class. The others were just staring and laughing.

He crouched down beside me and said: Are you going to cry, big boy?”