Religious Education teacher banned for showing teenage pupils her tattoos and telling them not to get married so they can sleep around instead.
As an RE teacher it was her job to enlighten pupils about Christian values and the beliefs of other religions. Instead, Catherine Reynolds encouraged her class to have lots of sex and "sleep around" before marriage. In expletive-ridden lessons, she told pupils to "stop bloody talking", "sit on your a***’ and warned them: "If you don’t want to learn RE, you can p*** off". An investigation into her behaviour also found she posted offensive comments on her Facebook page. Following a parents evening she wrote: "That was the most f****** horrendous evening of my life", and branded parents "retarded".
Reynolds made numerous references to "sex from a personal perspective" and told one pupil "not to get married because then you can’t sleep around" and that "you should have sex all the time". In one lesson, she recounted a visit to Amsterdam in which she saw a sex show involving a horse and a woman and revealed she had been for a naked massage. She used inappropriate language on a regular basis, the report found, including a string of swear words used to describe various people. One pupil was apparently told to "F*** off". Reynolds, who is married with a one-year-old daughter, told her class of taking a morning-after pill and of having a relationship with an older man. She also showed pupils the tattoos on her lower back and her thigh and played them "inappropriate videos".
One pupil claimed Reynolds did so when she "couldn’t be bothered teaching" and others said she was hindering their progress. One said: "I don’t feel I am taught anything." Reynolds was suspended by her headteacher in March 2011 and resigned four months later. Recommending a ban, the panel said she had "singularly failed to act as a role model to her pupils" and had a "deep-seated attitude that can lead to harmful behaviour". Mr Gove said the five-year ban would give her the "opportunity to consider whether she wishes to teach again". Reynolds could not be contacted last night but her mother, Debbie, said at her home in Tyldesey, Greater Manchester: "Catherine is no longer a teacher. She has to earn a living as she has a little girl to care for now. She will be devastated by this report which is very one-sided. There is no mention of what led up to these allegations and I think this has been a witch-hunt. I don’t know if she will want me to say any more."
Yesterday Reynolds, 27, was banned from the classroom for five years after Michael Gove decided she was a disgrace to the profession. Describing her conduct as unacceptable, the Education Secretary declared it fell seriously short of that expected of a teacher and added that a disciplinary panel had struggled to identify any "understanding, insight or remorse".