Assault on teacher – mother in court

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1913 court

Today at the Borough Police Court, the adjourned case of alleged assault on a Scarborough school teacher (Miss Drewery, engaged at Friarage School), came up for hearing. An adjournment had been granted the defendant, Amerilda Marshall, 8, Hall’s Yard, Cross Street, on Friday, in order that she might bring witnesses, she denying the assault, although she admitted having pulled the teacher’s hat off.

Mr SV Fern, said he was the local secretary of the National Union of Teachers. He knew Miss Drewery, and saw her on the Monday evening, about 7 o’clock. That was of course, after the assault had been committed upon her. Her condition was then one of complete prostration, and she seemed quite unstrung. He reported the matter to the National Union of Teachers.

The Chairman: Have you anything to ask witness?

Defendant: No, I have nothing to ask him, I don’t know him. (Laughter).

The headmaster of the Friarage School (Mr Brewin) said he could not speak as to the day of the alleged assault, as the boy was not sent to him previous to being sent out. He could say, however, that ever since the boy had been in the school he had been a source of trouble. Hardly a week passed when he was sent to the cloak room to wash – sometimes this occurred two or three times a week. He had reported the boy to the school medical officer. A month or two ago Miss Drewery sent the boy to witness, he was verminous about the head. That had occurred more than once, but on this particular occasion the boy went home and reported to his mother. The latter went to the school in the afternoon, in an excited condition, and demanded to see Miss Drewery, but he refused to let her in. The language she used was unfit for anyone to hear. Two class rooms were near, the windows being open. She then said that if she could get hold of Miss Drewery she would “do” for her. She used bad language the whole way down the school yard until she got off the premises.

Defendant: I say that is all false. It is a story.

The Chairman: Do you want to ask any more questions?

Defendant: Nothing more than to say that is a lie.

Defendant said she was guilty of pulling Miss Drewery’s hat off, but she never struck at her.

Defendant said her boy told her that the teacher took his jacket off and shook it against the wall. She would believe her boy before she would believe anyone else. He had had some “spots” on his hand, and the teacher had struck him across these. The last time he had the spots the teacher told him to get a brick to rub them.

In answer to the Bench defendant, who had not been before the court before, said her husband was a bricklayer’s labourer.

The Chairman said the magistrates felt that that was a serious case. Such a thing as that could not be allowed. Although the magistrates wished to deal leniently with defendant. For the sake of her family, she would be fined £1 including costs. The fine would have been heavier had it not been in consideration of her family.

Defendant asked for time in which to pay the money, but Mr Jones objected unless she apologised to Miss Drewery. The local education authority must uphold the teachers, and they intended to do it.

This defendant did, and said such a thing would not occur again.

Miss Drewery: I accept your apology, and I am very sorry it has happened.

Defendant was allowed a month in which to pay the money.

Mr Tasker Hart, solicitor, watched the case on behalf of the National Union of Teachers.