Teacher who shot at urinating teenagers allowed back into classroom
A MATHS teacher who shot an airgun at a group of teenagers who were urinating in his neighbour's garden has been allowed back into the classroom.
Allan Dickson was removed from the teaching register in 2010 after he admitted two firearms offences at Edinburgh Sheriff Court the previous year.
Dickson, who was 33 at the time, had been drinking with friends when he confronted the group of young men who were urinating in a neighbouring garden.
The then teacher at Newbattle Community High, Dalkeith, Midlothian, claimed the two men then assaulted him.
Dickson said he ran into his house, picked up the air weapon, and fired it at a metal gate in a bid to scare the youths away.
A worried neighbour heard the shot and phoned the police, resulting in Dickson being fined £1,000.
It has now emerged that following a hearing last month, the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) has agreed to allow Dickson, now 41, back into the classroom.
New details from the hearing, released this week, stated: “He explained that he had been drinking on a night out with work colleagues and on walking home had come across a group of young men, one of whom was urinating in a neighbouring garden to the applicant.
“On confronting the group, he had been subjected to verbal abuse and assaulted by two of them.
“On returning to his home he decided to go back outside with an air pistol he owned in order to scare the group off by firing a shot at a metal fence knowing it would make a lot of noise.
“This had disturbed another neighbour who reported the incident to the police.
“The applicant was subsequently charged and convicted at Edinburgh Sheriff Court of a breach of peace and an offence under the Firearms Act, resulting in a fine of £1,000.
“The applicant went on to state that he was deeply ashamed by his behaviour and the impact this had on him.”
It was reported at the time that Dickson shot the gun three or four times at the men in order to scare them away.
Dickson was dismissed as a teacher by Midlothian Council after news of the incident came to light.
However during the hearing it emerged that Dickson has been working in a managerial role at the same local authority arranging council transport.
He also claimed he gave up drinking alcohol after the incident.
Further details from the hearing said: “He stated that he greatly missed teaching Mathematics and believed he had much to offer.
“He spoke highly of his former school and the pride he had taken in his job and position there.
“He regarded himself as a good teacher who was popular with pupils and staff.
“He believed that he had learned from the experience which led to his conviction, dismissal and removal from the register.”
The panel decided to allow Dickson back into the classroom but said he will need to complete a probationary year in order to regain his full teaching licence.
On making the decision, the panel said: “It was now some eight years since the incident occurred and the applicant was now a more mature individual who was devoted to his family.
“He had clearly retained a love for teaching and Mathematics but given the length of time since the applicant had worked as a teacher together with the curriculum changes that have taken place in the intervening period, it was appropriate that the application should be subject to provisional registration for a period of one year...before being considered eligible for full registration.
“This would allow the Applicant time to address and understand the changes that have occurred and, in doing so, provide him with an appropriate level of support from peers and colleagues.”