Categorized | East, North

Deputy principal demoted after softball outburst

Parent told to 'piss off', and student umpire, 16, brought to the point of tears.

CHRIS THOMSON

A deputy principal at High Wycombe Primary School has been demoted, transferred and had her pay docked after speaking aggressively to a volunteer student umpire and telling a parent to “piss off” at an inter-school softball match.

On May 28 last year, when she attended an inter-school sports carnival at Maida Vale Reserve, Trudi Watts had been Deputy Principal at High Wycombe Primary School since 2010.

A decision published this month by Western Australian industrial commissioner Pamela Scott reveals that while supervising a Year Six and Seven girls’ B-grade softball team Ms Watts spoke aggressively and in an inappropriate tone to a student umpire who was 16 years old.

She also directed a parent to “piss off”.

‘RUDE, OVERBEARING, AGGRESSIVE’

The outburst arose over Ms Watts’ wish to have the student umpire, who was from Darling Range Sports College, score the game as well as officiate.

In her published decision, Acting Senior Commissioner Scott noted Ms Watts had been “rude, overbearing and aggressive” toward the volunteer student umpire.

“When he indicated to her that some of the parents had offered to do the scoring while he did the umpiring, she was not happy with this response and demanded that he score,” Ms Scott added.

“She did so in a tone and manner that was aggressive and inappropriate for a teacher, in the presence of all of the people at the event.

“Whether he cried as a response to her behaviour, as reported by a number of the other witnesses, is not so significant to me.

“He denies that he cried and I can understand why, if he had cried, he might now deny it.

“However, he was at least upset, bewildered and looking for assistance and support from others in response to Ms Watts’s behaviour towards him.”

PANIC ATTACK

Ms Scott found that Ms Watts’ attitude on the day toward a female teacher from her school was “rude and aggressive”.

“[The teacher] was so shocked and distraught by the attack by Ms Watts that she had a panic attack and dropped to the ground to catch her breath, and recover herself,” Ms Scott noted.

“Witnesses described her distress and that she was crying.

“In any event, it is quite clear that Ms Watts was in a state of high dudgeon and was abusive towards anyone who crossed her path or took a different view to hers that morning …”

DEMOTED

Ms Scott was busted back to teacher level, docked a day’s pay of $446.81, and transferred from High Wycombe Primary.

In his Term 2 newsletter earlier this year, High Wycombe Primary School principal Rick Walters said Ms Watts had “left our school as of the start of Term 2 after being transferred to a new position within the Department”.

“I would like to thank Mrs Watts for her contribution to our school community and wish her all the best for the future,” Mr Walters wrote.

Photo: ‘THOR’, Wikimedia Commons

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