A SUPPLY teacher has been cleared of assault after being flown off school grounds for calling a boy “pathetic” and making him cry.
Michael Good, from Leigh, has been charged with assaulting a pupil after his lessons at a Greater Manchester school escalated into a bitter argument – but he was acquitted today.
After the fiery argument, the angry teacher was ordered by the assistant principal to leave the classroom before being marched off the premises by another member of staff.
Mr Good said the complainant – a “troublemaker” and “naughty fellow” – infuriated him, but he denied the assault charge.
The argument reportedly started when the boy, who had been sitting in the front row of the classroom, asked Mr Good if he supported Manchester United.
When the 43-year-old replied that he had, the pupil said it was “sad” – but Mr Good said he accepted the youngster’s behavior was “jovial” and “wiped” the jibe.
The first half of the class went smoothly until the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, started chatting with his friend, the court heard.
Mr Good said he had asked the boy on several occasions to “look ahead” and “stop talking”, but he continued.
Instead, Mr. Good claimed he used a whiteboard pen to pat the boy on the shoulder to get his attention.
But that’s when the boy accuses Mr. Good of hitting him hard.
Most read in The Irish Sun
He claimed the impact of the pen caused him pain for up to an hour, even though he was wearing a school blazer at the time.
The student told the court he spoke to his friend “about questions asked” for the students to answer, but that he saw Mr Good out of the “corner of his eye” as Mr Good made contact with him.
He added, “It wasn’t really hard, but it was a little bit.”
When the boy started “that hurt” in class, Mr Good allegedly called him “stupid” and “pathetic” before “trying to mock him,” he told the court.
This made him “angry” and “upset,” he said.
Mr Good denied hitting the boy and was eventually acquitted – perhaps because the court heard how the boy had changed his story of the event.
For example, the boy hadn’t told the first teacher who saw him after the incident, before telling a second teacher that Mr. Good “put his hand on my shoulder” and only later called it a punch.
But despite his acquittal, Mr. Good has admitted to some wrongdoing.
He admitted he yelled at the youngster and made him “embarrassed” by telling him he was acting “like a loser”.
During a police interview, he told officers he had “stopped” the boy as “someone to watch.”
He added that the boy had “intended to scare him” – having already coughed to pretend he had Covid.
However, Mr Good told the court he only raised his voice to the boy after he began falsely claiming he had been assaulted.
He said the boy threatened him, telling his friend he would “tell his father” what happened and “break him down for assault.”
Mr Good said: “I think he was trying to tease me and unfortunately he succeeded.
“In the end I raised my voice, I called him pathetic and then imitated him.
I’m sorry – I shouldn’t have told the kid that
“I regret it – I shouldn’t have told the kid.”
The school’s department head testified in court because she was the first teacher to speak to the child after the incident.
She was teaching in another classroom nearby when she heard Mr. Good raise his voice.
This teacher told the court, “I heard a raised voice saying, ‘Shut up, shut up, are you stupid?’. It was very assertive, very yelling… very condescending.”
In response, she visited Mr Good’s classroom to see what was going on, the court heard.
There she said she saw the boy “absolutely sobbing” – although the boy claimed he started crying after leaving the classroom.
The department head suggested that Mr Good had a “very angry face” and a “disgusted look”.
Mr Good told the court he continued teaching for about five minutes until another staff member arrived and told him to leave.
He said he was not given a chance to tell his side of events when he was escorted out of the building.
Prosecutor Eleanor Myers summed up her case and suggested that Mr Good was “perhaps being pushed to the end of his wits” at the time of the alleged altercation.
She added, “If he’s someone who can snap like he did, I’ll argue that he can snap in some other way and isn’t a gentle man.”
Mr Good, who has no criminal record, completely dismissed the prosecution’s assault case and even expressed shock at how far the case had progressed in the legal system.
“That’s an exaggeration,” he said. “It’s crazy that I’m standing here, let me tell you.”
He added: “I’m a gentle man, I would never hurt a child. I would tap someone so lightly they might not even feel it.”
Craig Hunn defended himself, insisting the bank “cannot be sure” his client had attacked the teenager from the evidence presented.
He said: “This is not a labor court, it is a criminal court. It is acknowledged that Mr Good’s behavior was not all it could be.
“In retrospect, he regrets the language he used, he regrets some of his behavior. But that doesn’t mean he committed a joint attack.”
Mr Hunn also read a character reference from a staff member at Great Academy Ashton, where Mr Good now works as a tutor, helping students catch up from the disruptions caused by the coronavirus.
The statement described Mr Good as an “integral member of the team” with “positive” feedback from staff and students.
The bank acquitted Mr Good of Midland Close, insisting that the complainant’s evidence was “vague and contradictory”.