Since March this year, Mark Walker has been suspended “without prejudice” on full pay from Sunnydale Community College in Shildon, County Durham. No disciplinary charges have yet been brought. Yet Mark has been subjected to a harrowing series of ‘investigatory’ meetings. Mark has a young family to support and much of the period coincided with his wife being pregnant. No consideration has been shown to Mark or his family.
The latest ‘investigatory meeting’ is scheduled for this Monday, 3 September, 2007. The reasons given for his suspension are pretexts—misuse of school computer equipment. The political purpose of the ‘investigation’ is clear in the line of questioning—and because only Mark (amongst all the staff) is being singled out. Partial Justice is no Justice at all. For a rule to be fair it must be applied to everyone. Mark is being targeted in this ‘rotten borough’ because he has had the temerity to make his distaste for New Labour and support for the BNP clear.
Mark has strong supporters. Apart from the many parents and kids who think he is a great teacher he is backed by his trade union Solidarity and the campaigning group Civil Liberty. They have vowed to move heaven and earth to defend his human and civil rights.
Pat Harrington, the General Secretary of Solidarity, said:
“At every stage we have sought compromise and negotiation with the employer. I get the impression that orders are coming from higher up and the people I have been addressing have no real power. Our door is always open but our Union is a fighting Union. If commonsense does not prevail we are prepared to slog it out. This is a freedom issue. We work for our members.”
On Monday, 3 September, Civil Liberty have called a demonstration outside Sunnydale. From 8am there will be a picket. We urge as many people who care about freedom and are opposed to this New McCarthyism to attend.
If you are unable to attend we urge you to fax, write, email or ring the Headteacher and make clear your opposition to the persecution. Contact:
Sunnydale Community College
Tel: 01388 772526
Fax: 01388 773184
E-mail: [email protected]
Enough is enough! No one should lose their livelihood on account of their polical belief. It’s time to draw a line in the sand!