A TEACHER who says she was suspended for giving a student her phone number and another a lift home believes her career is now over.
Heather Wolfson had been teaching for 35 years and loved her job.
But the 56-year-old, whose most recent position was a fixed-term contract at Ysgol y Grango in Rhos, feels her reputation has been destroyed.
One incident involved Mrs Wolfson giving her phone number to a pupil who was struggling with her grandfather’s illness.
She said: “This poor student was inconsolable and all I did was give her my number and say ‘if you ever have nowhere else to go, call me’. I replied to one text she sent me.
“Another time I took a pupil home after school because he’d stayed late to take part in an extra project. His lift hadn’t arrived and it was dark.
“He said his parents were fine with it and he had no other way of getting home. I had no idea I should have had a permission slip.
“I was just looking out for them both, it was a mother’s instinct.”
Mrs Wolfson, who has two grown up children of her own, claims she was disciplined because her bahaviour was considered inappropriate.
But she says her actions were born out of compassion for those in her care and says a culture of fear has developed in many schools.
“It wasn’t made clear to me what I was and wasn’t allowed to do, maybe because I was on a short term maternity cover contract.
“If they’d told me not to do these things then of course I wouldn’t have done them.
“I love my job and I would never have done anything to jeopardise it.
“And while I agree teachers and children need to be safeguarded the impact often goes against your instinct which is to care for and protect the child.
“Some people might say with so much experience I should’ve known better but when I was training we didn’t have to worry so much about these things.
“If anything it’s people of my generation who need extra guidance and support because there seems to be a state of paranoia in our society now.
“Schools have fallen prey to political correctness and our careers are walking on a tightrope.”
Amanda Harrison, deputy head of Ysgol y Grango, said: “We believe the matters have now been resolved and as it is a personnel matter it would be inappropriate to comment further.”
Wrexham Council did not wish to comment.
Colin Adkins, an officer for the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) spoke on behalf of Mrs Wolfson and claimed her situation was not uncommon.
He said: “Schools are too quick to assume allegations are true and some authorities do not seek to achieve what's best for the school or the pupils.
“Teachers are put through the wringer, suspended and gossiped about but recent research into allegations made against teachers suggests 56 per cent are unfounded.
“I’d appeal to councils and schools to use some good common sense on the balance of evidence before jumping to conclusions.
“What Heather was doing was the best for the pupils.
“Teachers won’t want to try anymore and it will result in poorer teaching.”
Mrs Wolfson, of Station Road, Weston Rhyn, near Oswestry, added: “I have taught hundreds of pupils over the years many of whom remember me for who I really am and what I did to help them achieve their position in life.
“I’ve given my life to teaching but now I’ve been rendered unemployable.”