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Basildon Academies teacher fails in £100,000 racism tribunal
TEACHER has failed to sue a Basildon school for £100,000 after claiming he was a victim of racism.
Robbie Islam, from the Tower Hamlets area, East London, lodged a total of 43 allegations of discrimation against Basildon’s Lower Academy in Timberlog Lane.
Mr Islam, 64, a Muslim of Bangladeshi origin, claimed he had not been supported properly by the school and, from the very start, was harassed by students because of his race, religion and age.
Yesterday, all his claims were dismissed by a judge at the conclusion of his fiveday tribunal hearing at Anchorage House, east London.
A disappointed Mr Islam told the Echo: “I have never been ill. For the first time in my life, I was forced to go to hospital. I was so unhappy.
“Onmany occasions, I was a victim of racism, with students telling me my class is smelly – and one even asked me if I was a terrorist.
“It was likemental torture.”
Mr Islam, who has been teaching in England since 1990, joined the school on a six-month contract last February, but he was suspended from his job in May.
His suspension came after a complaint against him alleged he had threatened to take a photograph of a student who defiantly sat on the floor after he refused to follow instructions.
Mr Islam said he would show the photo to the young boy’s mother.
The hearing was told how it was policy at the academy that use of a mobile phone in front of pupils was against school rules – and taking photos of pupils was not allowed without permission.
During the hearing it was revealed Mr Islam’s initial suspension last May gave the school a chance to investigate his performance.
In June, the school sent him a letter confirming his suspension.
Mr Islam thought the job would be made permanent, but in September his short-term contract was not extended.
Among his claims the teacher said he was not given enough support, the right IT equipment and on one occasion was undermined when another teacher came into his class to monitor poorly behaved students.
However, the judge confirmed the claimant, who represented himself, had not provided enough evidence for the allegations – and was inconsistent in his claims.
All 43 allegations were thrown out by the judge.
Afterwards, Mr Islam said: “The tribunal failed to make the correct decision.
“However, I do not believe I have failed because I amglad I have been able to take this issue and make it public.
“It is my way of warning other teachers that they should be careful and take care, especially teachers who come from ethnic backgrounds.”
Mr Islam admitted to finding the whole teaching experience at the school “very difficult”.
He added: “Whenever senior teachers would threaten to exclude the children, I did not want this to happen. I wanted to forgive them and did not want them to be blacklisted.”