| 3.5°C Dublin

Teacher's racy novel with pupils 'innovative'

An English teacher who was sacked after she wrote a racy novel about her pupils believed she was "innovative", an employment tribunal heard yesterday.

Leonora Rustamova (40) lost her job after her novel detailed teenage fantasies, violence and a criminal drug den.

Her sacking from Calder High School, near Hebden Bridge, England, prompted demonstrations by pupils and parents.

The book names several teachers and features Year 11 pupils (who would be about 15 or 16 years of age) -- all real students. The story -- 'Stop! Don't Read This!' -- appeared on a self-publishing website.

Ms Rustamova taught for more than 11 years. She claims she was unfairly dismissed.

Jean Bradbury, vice chair of governors at the school, told the hearing: "The book brought the school into disrepute, in large part because the book was available in the public arena."

She added: "Far from feeling she had done something wrong, the majority of her evidence was how she was an excellent teacher."

Ms Rustamova outlined her difficulties with a group of boys she was teaching at the school.

She was warned the group of boys were "overtly racist, violent and misogynistic". She decided to write the book as a way of engaging with the youngsters.

Her statement added: "The boys were very proud of the book. To this day they are happy for anyone, anyone to read it."

She said the head praised her and raised no objections. She claimed he suggested it would be a nice idea to give each of the boys a bound copy when they had left the school.

The hearing continues.

Irish Independent