Teacher who accused colleagues of 'blackophobia’ after they complained they were too scared to say ‘black’ wins discrimination case

Teacher who accused colleagues of 'blackophobia’ after they complained they were too scared to say ‘black’ wins discrimination case

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GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 17/01/2024

- 17:31

A petition had been set up calling Andrea Mairs "respected and highly regarded"

A teacher who who accused colleagues of "blackphobia" after complaints they were too scared to use the word "black" around her has won a discrimination claim.

Staff at at Kings Road Primary School in Stretford, Manchester said they were left "intimidated" following "relentless complaining" by Andrea Mairs about racial issues in the classroom.

A tribunal was told Mairs objected to a visiting magician referring to pupils as "little monkeys" which resulted in any reference to the word being banned from the school.

Reception classes were reportedly forced to stop singing a song called 'Five Little Monkeys' as a consequence of this.

A school/empty classroom

Mairs taught at the Kings Road Primary School

Google Maps/PA

Mairs was eventually sacked due to the breakdown in the relationship between her and colleagues.

However, she has now successfully sued the school and the local council for race discrimination over her treatment.

The panel at her tribunal heard that following her monkey complaint, Mairs was blamed by staff for the decision to ban the word which created "tension" amongst her colleagues.

In another incident, she raised an issue after she saw a photograph in an art display which showed a black student wearing a label that read "blackcurrant".

Mairs told headteacher Darren Morgan she thought it was inappropriate for a black child to wear a sticky label that said blackcurrant as it could be "misconstrued."

Members of the school's senior leadership team (SLT) launched a collective grievance against Mairs.


Trafford Council

Mairs sued Trafford Council following her dismissal

Google Maps

They said they were too "afraid to use the word black" in her presence and feared being the victims of "vicious allegations" of racism.

In June 2019, SLT members issued their grievance saying that her criticisms "have a negative impact on the whole school, team and individual morale".

They referred to her complaints as "intimidating" and said they were "concerned about being labelled racist" by the teacher.

At the tribunal, it was heard that Mairs was "scared and daunted" by their accusations and four months later she lodged her own grievance against the SLT over them.

She accused the senior staff of "blackophobia".

After almost a year off sick, Mairs raised the possibility of coming back to work.

However, the SLT objected saying she had "instilled fear in colleagues", before being dismissed in January 2022.

A petition was then set up that said she was "well respected and highly regarded amongst us and our community."

Mairs sued Trafford Council and the school governors for unfair dismissal, race discrimination by victimisation, and unauthorised deduction from wages and breach of contract, all of which were upheld.

The school insisted that the teacher's grievance had been made in bad faith.

However, the tribunal disagreed and found that she had been victimised by the school and staff's reaction to it.

A remedy hearing to decide Mairs compensation will be held at a later date.

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