Teacher 'blamed girl over bullying'

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A handicapped girl turned to a teacher for help when she felt she had become the victim of psychological bullying. But instead of dealing with the problem, he accused her of being to blame and of being unsociable, a court was told yesterday.

Becky Walker, 20, who has suffered from cerebral palsy since birth, is seeking damages from Derbyshire County Council for post-traumatic stress disorder which she claims was brought on by the misery of her schooldays.

She alleges that after she joined the steel band at Bolsover School, she was subjected to a year-long campaign of nasty remarks, gestures and staring, calculated to force her out.

Miss Walker, a law student, of Bolsover, alleges that when she complained to the teacher in charge of the band, David Gibbons, he failed to take effective action and was in breach of the duty of care. She told Judge Thomas Heald at Nottingham County Court: 'I fully expected him to deal with the situation but his approach was that it was my fault. It was very hurtful when continually asking for help to be blamed for what was happening.'

The hearing was adjourned until today.