The Daily Mail is reporting that the headteacher of an academy has triumphed in a case where an NUT member claimed she was banned with working with children.
A school head who suffered a ‘year of hell’ after a union activist posted a false smear online has won a ‘landmark victory’ against such abuse.
Pepe Hart, 47, launched a libel case after a National Union of Teachers member claimed on Facebook that she was banned from working with children.
Mrs Hart’s experience is all too typical of the growing problem of professionals across the country being abused on social media. But it is hoped her success in winning a public apology – in the first known case of its kind – could signal a turning of the tide against such trolling.
The message was posted by NUT member Kate Mimnagh, 27, a teacher formerly employed by the head at The Academy of Trinity in Radstock, Somerset.
Mrs Hart had been at the school, rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, for ten years. She was named Teacher of the Year in the 2008 Pride of Britain Awards and won the title Manager of the Year in a contest by recruiter Reed. But in 2015, Miss Mimnagh, a Jeremy Corbyn supporter, was one of a number of NUT activists at the school involved in raising grievances over ‘pregnancy and maternity rights, treatment of newly qualified teachers and allegations of bullying and harassment’.
Mrs Hart said she had no idea why the complaints were made and was made aware of them only when she read about them in a local newspaper. She said an online ‘witch-hunt’ began, in which local people – some of them connected with the school – posted vicious smears on social media.
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