He asked, and he was given

Deputy head shoots a student with plastic bullets:

The boy was hit at least twice from a distance of up to 15 metres, with the plastic bullets causing injuries to his stomach, arms and legs.


The “momentary lapse of judgment” left Gitlin’s 30-year teaching career in tatters after he was convicted of assault by beating.


As he appeared at Stockport magistrates court on Friday, Gitlin, from Prestbury, near Wilmslow, wept as he admitted the offence, stating that he was going through an acrimonious divorce at the time and was not sleeping well.

He got off pretty lightly:

The teacher, who had otherwise enjoyed an unblemished career, was ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work and to pay the boy £125 compensation.

Perhaps he should have been sent to jail. It was definitely an extremely stupid thing for a teacher (or anyone) to do. Still… I can’t help but think that the student got what he deserved:

Eileen Rogers, prosecuting, said: “He was operating an air rifle when one of the students asked the teacher what it would be like to be shot by it.


“He replied it would ‘bloody hurt’ to which the young pupil responded ‘shoot me’, running around the hall and repeating the phrase a number of times.


“He was 10 – 15 metres away. He pointed the airsoft gun at him and fired it one or two times and one or more of the plastic bullets hit the young pupil and caused some injuries.

The kid certainly has the wrong attitude:

Miss Rogers added: “There were no lasting injuries but it is something that a young man would go through afterwards, in relation to trauma that was caused.


“He had several red marks on his stomach, his arms, and his legs. You wouldn’t expect it to happen on a school premises and there is a lasting effect on him.”

The correct response would be  ‘I wanted to know, now I know. He shouldn’t have done it, but now the pain’s gone I’ll be fine, and it’ll make a brilliant drinking story”.


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6 thoughts on “He asked, and he was given

  1. Bloody hell. I wonder what the Modern World would make of Mr. Ritchie throwing blackboard erasers at us back in the ’80s. He’d probably be in jail.

    Mind you, back then we still had The Strap. Just. State schools had stopped using it, but it wasn’t yet illegal. I only saw it used once, but the threat definitely worked.

  2. I went to school in the sixties and seventies. They had the cane, the slipper, the blackboard ruler and, in the woodwork shop there was an American style paddle. I was a fairly well behaved kid but still had first hand experience of most of these. I don’t recall being shot at though.

  3. I’m fine with the cane and the slipper and the ruler, but I draw the line at teachers shooting pupils with a gun, even if the bullets were plastic. But one can imagine how tempting it must have been with this kid…

  4. It was a toy gun, literally used for play fighting, but I agree with larger point. Even though the kid is clearly a Dick and the schools mostly lack discipline.

  5. I go airsofting. I have two automatic rifles. Both can fire on fully auto as well as single shot. Even with a combat uniform plus eye protection a full burst can bloody hurt. He should not have shot at the boy. If he had hit him in the eye he could have been blinded.

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