Teaching assistant sacked after raising concerns about 11-year-olds being shown graphic 9/11 video

The Mail is reporting that a teaching assistant has been sacked for objecting to a class of 11-year-olds being shown graphic footage of 9/11.

Suriyah Bi, 23, was helping the year seven class at Heartlands Academy in Birmingham.

The pupils were shown the horrifying video of the terrorist attack which shook the world, which has a rating for people aged 18 and over.

The YouTube clip shows people jumping from the Twin Towers and has graphic descriptions of people going ‘splat’ on the floor.

Ms Bi, who only started her teaching assistant job at the school last week, did not agree with the film clip being shown to the children and raised her concerns.

She was stunned when the headteacher immediately sent her home for the day and, following an email explaining herself, dismissed her.

The Oxford University graduate said: ‘I was just doing my job, I am in utter shock and disbelief that I have been dismissed for trying to do my job and protecting the children.

‘Before the video could even be viewed on YouTube, there was a block on the video, warning that you needed to sign in to view it, verifying we were 18…

The class were studying a poem called Out of the Blue, by Simon Armitage, on Tuesday.

The poem is about a victim of the 9/11 terror attacks who eventually jumps from the burning building. It is part of the AQA GCSE syllabus.

Ms Bi said: ‘It happened during the last class of the day on Tuesday and then the next day at around 8.50am I raised the concern and not even an hour later I was in a meeting telling me I was dismissed…

She started at the school only last Monday, just days after completing her Masters, and claims it had become apparent in the eight days working there, that there are various issues with how the children are being safeguarded…

Ms Bi was employed as a teaching assistant by EduStaff teaching agency, and went to work for Heartlands Academy on a daily basis. 

Headteacher of Heartlands Academy, Glynis Jones, said: ‘Due to the investigation now taking place, we are unable to comment on the situation.’

A spokesman for EduStaff has said they are unable to comment at this time. 

More at: Teaching assistant is sacked after raising concerns about 11-year-olds being shown a graphic video of people dying on 9/11


We are obviously only  getting one side of the story here, but what do you think about the idea of showing a clip of 9/11 jumpers to year seven students?

Would you think it appropriate or not in the context of studying a poem about what happened? If you are a parent, would you be happy for your child to be shown something like this in class?

Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Safeguarding, Secondary and Teaching.


  1. neilayates

    SchoolsImprove More to this than meets the eye but bigger debate to be had about kids being shown films classified for older ages.

  2. lindatheactor

    SchoolsImprove Seems odd that Year 7 pupils were studying a poem from the #gcse syllabus, even more so if video was X-rated.

  3. JSchaetzer

    SchoolsImprove I call BS… 11yr oldsee way more violence on vids/reason why the content is labeled as such-dismissing is short sighted

  4. onlyoneabou

    SirAlsDad SchoolsImprove LearningSpy Not sure about this. The poem is vivid itself without the need to resort to gratuitous video clips.

  5. onlyoneabou

    SchoolsImprove LearningSpy If she has been ‘sent home’ for raising legitimate concerns, then that is an appalling act by the school.

  6. Bookmanfilm

    SchoolsImprove LearningSpy it’s the real world. A real event. I guarantee the students have seen worse AND we don’t know which video.

Let us know what you think...