Teacher ‘gave pupils cigarettes’ and boasted about sex and drugs use

Peter Walsh outisde the General Teaching Council for Scotland, Picture: Deadline News
Peter Walsh outisde the General Teaching Council for Scotland, Picture: Deadline News

A TEACHER gave children cigarettes at the school gates and boasted to pupils about having sex behind a tree, a hearing was told.

Peter Walsh is also accused of discussing his own drug use, renaming the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as “Teenage M****” and telling students it was their “f****** human right” to go to the toilet during class time.

The English teacher conducted his own defence at yesterday’s hearing in Edinburgh, angrily accusing a former colleague of “grooming” students to give evidence against him.

The 60-year-old’s conduct resulted in such angry and chaotic scenes that the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) permanently banned him from his own hearing.

Outside the offices of the GTCS, Mr Walsh, who was previously sacked from a teaching job in England for swearing, admitted he had led a “wild life” but claimed he was a working class victim of the profession’s snobbery.

Mr Walsh, from Penicuik, Midlothian, denies charges of engaging in inappropriate conversations with pupils regarding, sex, drug use and his personal life.

He also denies referring to a drawing as looking like ‘testes’, using the phrase “teenage m****”, referring to some department heads as not having a “f****** clue” and saying words to the effect: “Most English teachers are crap but it’s not their fault, because they were taught by crap English teachers.”

Mr Walsh was working as a supply teacher at Broughton High School, Edinburgh, in February 2015, when the incidents happened.

Curriculum head of English, Nicola Daniel, told the hearing: “Pupils would report that Mr Walsh would swear at the school gates and give them cigarettes.”

She added: “They thought it was great fun to be told they could go to the toilet whenever they wanted because it was their ‘f****** human right’.

“Three girls in my top set S3 class said he had been using bad language and told them that he had had an addiction to drugs.

“They reported that they had wanted to do the work but Mr Walsh had told them to listen to him.

“The girls said Mr Walsh had gone on to discuss drug addiction and had gone on to discuss having sex behind a tree and other encounters.”

Michael O’Regan, at the time a maths teacher at the school, told the hearing: “He told the class his nickname in other schools was ‘pervert’.”

He added: “They found the language used disturbing. It wasn’t language that they would expect to hear from a teacher. That comment about teenage minge was so out of order, I recall it to this day.”

The hearing quickly descended into chaos as Mr Walsh conducted his own defence.

Referring to Mr O’Regan, he told the panel: “You can dress it up all you want with your fancy jargon but the man is a liar. He damn well knows it.”

Frieda Fraser, the chairwoman of the panel responded: “We can’t have language like that in the hearing. I can’t allow you to harass a witness.”

A short break was suggested, at which Mr Walsh announced to the room: “I’m going for a fag.”

Upon re-entering the hearing he was warned by the chairwoman: “The last thing we want to do is exclude you from this hearing but be in no doubt that I will exclude anyone that doesn’t conform to the standards of behaviour we have set.”

Unabashed, Mr Walsh asked Mrs Daniel: “Did you or did you not groom one of your little pets that was in your class to say…”

That drew another warning from the panel, to which Mr Walsh replied: “Well I don’t know how else to put it, I’m a working class guy.”

When Mrs Daniel retorted that she too was from a “working class background” Mr Walsh replied: “Well you hide it well.”

Asked to leave the room again he loudly declared: “You have done nothing but make my case stutter and falter. For all your smugness of the GTCS you are not that important to me.”

At this point the panel decided to permanently exclude the teacher from the hearing.

Outside the building, he railed: “The teaching profession is full of bullies. How can you condemn somebody just on anecdotes? You’d have a better chance if you were up for murder.”

“I’ve lived a wild life and that’s what made me the great teacher that I was with the kids.

“I know all about drugs and I think its my civic duty to tell pupils If I know something.”

Mr Walsh was sacked from his position at Churchill Community College, Wallsend, North Tyneside, in 2003 for swearing at a teacher.

That episode put him in front of the GTC in Birmingham in 2005, which reprimanded him for failing to provide proper lessons whilst acting as a supply teacher.

The GTC ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove he had used the word “spacca” in front a disabled child.

He admitted to the Birmingham panel that he was convicted for causing criminal damage and using threatening and abusive language in 1997 and given a conditional discharge.

The Edinburgh hearing continues.