Paper: Principal dismissed over Viimsi school teacher abuse allegations

Haabneeme School in Viimsi.
Haabneeme School in Viimsi. Source: Haabneeme School.

Principal of a Viimsi, just outside Tallinn, has been fired following allegations of systematic abuse perpetrated by one teacher under her charge, and stretching back to November last year.

Laine Randjärv, Mayor of Viimsi Rural Municipality, said the dismissal of the head teacher, Sirje Toomla, principal of Haabneeme School, was not a sudden or quick decision, and based on reports that a primary school teacher had repeatedly pushed children, causing them pain, over a period of a year, while at the same time the issues had not been reported to the municipality as they should have, according to daily Postimees.

According to the paper, concerned parents had approached Toomla, according to one of the parents, Jaanus Nestra, and at a meeting on Oct. 15 raised no objections to the question of the teacher being dismissed, when asked by Toomla.

The teacher was subsequently fired in late October after warning procedures, with Toomla saying that the teacher had used physical violence against a pupil three times over the autumn, but Toomla's contract was still terminated by Viimsi municipality on Tuesday.

According to Postimees, the schools board of trustees, as well as the teaching staff, oppose Toomla's dismissal, and while, according to Viimsi deputy mayor Georg Aher, several parents had approached the municipality itself to sort out the issues of the school's management, Randjärv denies this, but the school's trade union leader Proomet Torga says that in reality it was Toomla's drawing attention to overcrowding at the school, with 660 pupils in a facility designed for just over 500, which was behind her dismissal.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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