Teacher put prosthetic penis in his trousers and made lewd movements

June 15, 2022

Teacher ‘who was like Benny Hill character’ put prosthetic penis down his trousers and then made ‘suggestive and provocative movements’ towards colleagues, tribunal hears

  • Derek Turkington is accused of making lewd gestures towards members of staff
  •  The Personal and Social Education teacher also ‘ranted’ at a pupil in the hallway
  •  Colleagues at Newbattle Community High School were aware of his behaviour
  •  One staff member claims people were uncomfortable being in the same room

A teacher who allegedly put a prosthetic penis down his trousers and made ‘suggestive movements’ towards his colleagues is facing being struck off.

Derek Turkington is accused of making lewd gestures towards another member of staff between August 2017 and May 2018.

He is also accused of shouting at a pupil at the Newbattle Community High School in Dalkeith, Midlothian, in front of a colleague in January 2018.

Mr Turkington allegedly said: ‘Colleague A, can you please tell him that his dad clearly doesn’t care about him and that he needs to move on and get a grip.’

A member of staff described him as a ‘kind of Benny Hill character in his regards to sexual actions or language.’

Mr Turkington, from Glasgow, is also accused of placing his finger through the zipper of his trousers to mimic male genitals.

Derek Turkington, a Personal and Social Education teacher in Midlothian, could be banned from teaching following the tribunal. He is accused of making lewd comments towards several members of staff

He reportedly also shouted at a pupil in January 2018 in front of another member of staff before sending round an email. Turkington is also accused of scaring pupils by nailing wood over a school door

A tribunal at the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) also heard that he caused pupils distress after nailing a piece of wood over a school door.

He now faces being removed from the teaching register GTCS following a three day hearing this week.

Eilidh Keeble joined Newbattle Community High School in late 2017 and was made aware of rumours involving Derek Turkington’s alleged behaviour.

She told the hearing today that she was not shocked by his behaviour, as she had witnessed him harass other colleagues in the past.

Mrs Keeble alleges that people were uncomfortable being in the same room as Mr Turkington, and claimed that he called a colleague gay.

She said: ‘It didn’t really surprise me as I had seen how he was towards Martin Newcombe and saying Martin was gay, I witnessed him making comments towards Martin and towards Andrea, you could see Martin was uncomfortable.

‘I can’t say for sure that any pupils witnessed this but I felt uncomfortable being in the room, Derek is quite an intimidating man and nobody wanted to speak up and cross him.’

However another colleague, Martin Newcombe, claimed that Turkington’s actions with the prostetic was just ‘Derek being Derek’.

The Personal and Social Education teacher reportedly used the artificial item to make suggestive movements towards other staff at the school.

Mr Newcombe told the hearing: ‘There was a big box of prosthetic penis in the box room just off the guidance room and people would store their coffee and tea in there.

‘Derek would often play about with these [prosthetics], I took no offence to what he did, other staff laughed at it too.

‘I was very rarely in contact with Derek, he would interact with pupils but he had a sense of humour that the pupils liked, he broke down barriers and pupils seemed to respond well.

‘It was all just the way he was, to someone who did not know him it was probably different but that was Derek, he was a kind of Benny Hill character in his regards to sexual actions or language.

‘When he was messing around it was just Derek being Derek, it meant nothing to me, if I thought he had been deliberately offensive I would have reported it.’

Ms Keeble added that she was left ‘upset’ following an incident with a pupil and Mr Turkington, as she felt that he should not have screamed at the boy.

The student had been wandering the corridors when he was shouted at by Mr Turkington in front of Ms Keeble, who described him as ‘ranting’.

She told the hearing: ‘Pupil A used to frequent the corridors of the school, he was quite open about wanting to find his dad but when he did, his dad did not want to have contact.

‘It was hard for Pupil A, he was a teenager and he felt rejected. Derek was getting annoyed by the situation and he banged on the door to the boy and said “Mrs Keeble can you please tell Pupil A that his dad clearly doesn’t care about him and that he needs to move on and get a grip”.

While teaching at Newbattle Community High School, in Dalkeith, Turkington also reportedly placed his finger through the zipper of his trousers to mimic male genitals

‘I didn’t know the boy and had no relationship, all I said was I did not know the situation and you should go to classes and work hard to prove people wrong.

‘He was ranting, his voice was raised, the tone of voice, in this incident can you tell him this, tell him this and I just thought I’ll tell him what I want to tell him, it’s not really up to you to tell me.

‘I think it was more towards the pupil, the boy did not speak at all, he was quite upset with the situation, to tell his personal business is quite upsetting.’

She added that she was also upset when Mr Turkington sent round an email in the following days to all members of staff about the student – encouraging them to ‘send him back to class’.

Ms Keeble said: ‘I felt this was inappropriate, I could not believe that Derek was in this role as he did not care.

‘Derek wouldn’t turn up for guidance meetings and how little compassion he had, one minute he would be joking and playing and then he would absolutely change.

‘I would witness him always winding kids up to try and get them to flip, my concern was the way he was towards pupils.

‘The way he behaved towards staff and his general lack of care and compassion towards pupils, you are going deeper than just teaching them a subject.

‘At no point do I feel that he tried to support any pupils that were in his care.’

The hearing continues.

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