That being ‘bright and colourful’:
Now teaching at a special school, the married father of two, from Skelmersdale, Lancashire, is sticking to his no-tie rule.How you act reflects it too, though ‘bright and colourful’ isn’t the wording most people would choose…
‘I don’t work in an office, I teach music and drama.
‘I’m a bright and colourful character and how I dress reflects that,’ he said yesterday.
And not only did he refuse to comply, but he promptly sued the well-regarded Roman Catholic grammar school where he was teaching, accusing it of sexual discrimination and breach of contract.Hurrah for hefty lawyers fees (for once)!
After being threatened with hefty legal costs, he finally backed down.
After refusing to comply, Mr Smith was told to leave, so forfeiting the £150 he had been due to be paid for a day’s work.Or, indeed, for the right not to wear a tie. Though I can’t see any school getting that translated into Latin for a motto…
The teacher, himself a Catholic, wrote to the school demanding it pay him, quoting its motto, Vitam impendere vero – ‘To lay one’s life down for the truth’.
The chutzpah is strong in this one, though:
… he took it to a tribunal for breach of contract as well as sex discrimination, on the grounds that female teachers weren’t expected to wear a tie.I’d suggest putting this almighty ego in a skirt to teach him the folly of his approach, but he’d probably welcome its attention-getting properties.
He’s clearly one of those teachers:
‘Times have changed and wearing a tie doesn’t necessarily mean you’re smartly dressed these days – I see plenty of teachers wearing ties with cartoon characters on.I think we can all agree that that’s the most important thing, isn’t it? That the kids you teach find you ‘cool’?
‘I feel I’m a good, positive role model and to me the school’s attitude is out of date and frankly Dickensian.
‘A lot of kids have said I dress quite cool and I’m not boring, and I think that helps me make a connection with them.’
The school is well rid of this clown:
A spokesman said: ‘St Ambrose College was fully prepared to take this case to court.Good for you! It’s about time that someone took a stand. Enjoy your fifteen minutes of fame, Mr Smith. It’s all you’ll get…
‘The school sets high standards for its pupils and naturally expects the same from the staff.
‘The supply agency was fully aware of our policy and is backing us in our stance.
‘We completely refute any suggestion Mr Smith was humiliated, and it was rather the situation he was rude to a senior member of staff with 20 years’ experience at the school.’