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Bad Apple Bully school principals and departmental officers can bully Australian teachers into ill health - and out of work!

How one young teacher's life was ruined by false allegations.

In December 2015 Jen Mathwin-Raymond was the principal of Errington Special School in Plympton Park, South Australia.

Her daughter, Jemima Raymond, 28, also worked as a teacher at the school.

On December 8 2015 Jemima Raymond was accused of "recklessly causing harm" to a physically and mentally disabled student.

Jemima faced up to three years in jail because the student was "non-verbal" so the alleged offence was considered to be aggravated.


The alleged attack occurred in the school playground.

Three members of staff, other than Jemima, witnessed Jemima's alleged attack on the student.

Michael Jandy, for Jemima, told the Adelaide Magistrates' Court that Jemima was actually protecting the student, not attacking her.

Special school teacher accused of assaulting disabled child, Adelaide Advertiser, Ten News, 24 June 2016

The allegations against teacher Jemima Raymond.

On Thursday 29 September 2016 school support officer (SSO) Georgia Delaney told Adelaide Magistrate's Court she saw the student get on, and then off, the swings prior to the incident.

"She sat on the ground and had a little tantrum, then she lay down on the ground ... she was screaming," Ms Delaney said.

"Two boys came to use the swings ... they just sat there, the swings were not moving."


Ms Delaney said she attempted to coax the screaming girl away from the swings.

It did not work.

Jemima approached.

"I was told to grab her hand, Jemima grabbed her legs, I was asked to lift her up and move her away," she said.

"I did grab hold of her hands but I let go because that's not how we pick up kids ... (the girl) was also agitated and dug her nails into my arm so I said "let's put her down'."

Ms Delaney said she turned to another SSO for advice.

Then she realised that the student "was being dragged away" along the rubberised playground surface by her ankles.

"She was screaming in pain, it was ear-piercingly loud ... then Jemima wiped her hands and said 'that's how it's done'," Ms Delaney said.


The court was told that Jemima's alleged assault had left the non-verbal, seizure-suffering student with "significant" grazing injuries to her back.


But, the court was told, principal Jen Mathwin-Raymond did not rebuke Jemima.

Instead, the court was told, Ms Mathwin-Raymond instructed school support officers to "stand aside".


Jemima told the court that she was trying to protect the student from danger when she moved her away from the swing.



Special schoolteacher Jemina Alice Raymond dragged and injured child, said "that's how it's done", court told, Sean Fewster, The Advertiser, 29 September 2016

Why was this South Australian teacher exposed to such 'shoddy treatment'?

"I  would like to say that after 25 years of doing this job, this must be one of the most unmeritorious prosecutions I have ever seen," said Magistrate Susan O'Connor in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on 10 April 2017.

Ms O'Connor blasted the three "reprehensible " and jealous former colleagues at Errington Special Education Centre staff who made the allegations concerning Ms Raymond, the Education Department and the prosecutors over Jemima Raymond's "shoddy treatment".

Ms O'Connor branded the case "a travesty". 

She said an "unreliable mush of tainted evidence" had been generated by the case.


Ms O'Connor described SSO Georgia Delaney as an unreliable witness who had sought help to back her false claims.

Ms O'Connor said listening to Delaney was a "chilling experience". 

 "This witness is insecure and considers she has the right as a support staff to run her playground without interference," she said.

"For reasons unknown, except a complete lack of self-esteem, she decided to embark upon this prosecution."


Delaney's colleague Irene Halikias and "unprofessional" teacher Stephen Duck also wanted to "dispose" of Jemima's mother, principal Jen Mathwin-Raymond.

"There has been a fundamental error in putting trust in the chain of paperwork between three potential prosecution (witnesses) who felt justified in ruining professional careers, seemingly motivated by the fact that a headmistress was thought to have been too strict and her daughter was seen to be in a position of advantage. This jealousy was reprehensible."

"Had there not been malice, had there not been a number of people at this school ganging up on their principal ... (and her daughter), this would never have become a criminal case. I do not know who thought that this was a positive and appropriate outcome for such a sad event.

"This case would never have come to trial ... had anyone used reason, rational thought, seen things forensically, relied on the police, done a proper evaluation and stopped the prosecution witnesses building their own case by texts, by Facebook and by comparing statements.

"This has been an extremely distressing and unnecessary episode for a young woman who has my sympathy."


Jemima Raymond was suspended from her job without pay.

Jemima says she has lost "my career, my job and my house" because of the allegations.

"I am absolutely devastated, emotionally exhausted, mentally and physically drained.

"It has been very traumatic for not only me but my entire family," she said.

"I never got to say goodbye to my beautiful students, I was just ripped away with no explanation.

"It's really very sad and something I'll never forget.

"I have lost everything; my career, my job, my house.

"(The Education Department) decided to no longer pay me when I was accused of something I didn't do and I had to give up my house that I worked so hard for."


Jemima Raymond wept in court as Ms O'Connor formally dismissed the charge.

"I have always loved teaching," Jemima said. "I have always wanted to be a teacher ever since I was in primary school and now I'm not sure what the future holds for me."


Jemima's mother, Ms Mathwin-Raymond, remains suspended from her job.


Adelaide special school teacher Jemima Raymond falsely accused of assaulting disabled girl by 'reprehensible' colleagues, Andrew Hough, The Advertiser, 10 April, 2017


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