Female teacher told students to ‘f*** off’ as she ‘groped and kissed pupil at nightclub’

A “drunk” teacher told students to “f*** off” as she “groped and kissed” a teenage male pupil in a nightclub after dancing in a “sexualised” manner, a hearing has been told.

Ashley McConnell, a physics teacher at Thurso High School in Caithness, Scotland, was 30-years-old at the time, and married.

The teacher, also known as Ashley Swanson, is alleged to have danced in a sexualised manner with a sixth year pupil at local Skinandi’s nightclub in March 2018.

She is accused of touching his bottom and groin and holding hands with him during the night in question.

McConnell admits holding hands with the teen but denies kissing him.

Earlier this month, her friend and former colleague Emilie Charton, who was with her on the night, alleged McConnell was drunk and acting flirtatious at the nightclub.

McConnell has also been accused of telling two pupils at the club to “f**k off” before gesturing two fingers at them.

She then allegedly said she would “fight the b***h” in reference to one of the female pupils.

Giving evidence at the hearing, Ms Charton, who recently left Thurso High School, claimed McConnell was drinking Jack Daniels and coke, while also ordering Budweiser.

She added: “I do not believe that she was in full control of her actions, she was more than tipsy and I do not remember her making any advances.

“If she was sober it would never have happened as when people are drunk they do things they normally wouldn’t.

“Ashley was feeling like she wanted to party, I was the one who had to push her away. [She] was drunk, more aggressive and sensitive to the comments when she gave the girl the finger.

“I had not seen her act in a flirtatious manner before and all of this makes me think she was not in control.”

On Monday, June 20, the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) heard evidence from Thurso High School headteacher Kathryn MacKay who investigated the claims.

McConnell faces being struck off the teaching register by the General Council for Scotland (GTCS).

MacKay claimed that there “appeared to have been an argument between Ashley and one of the girls.”

The headteacher added that pupils came to her office and said they allegedly saw the teacher kiss a pupil.

“Ashley came to me and said she couldn’t remember the incident, I was advised to immediately suspend her which I did, she began to cry,” MacKay said.

Dr Fiona Grant, a former head teacher from the school, told the GTCS panel earlier this month how she launched an investigation into the allegations after pupils approached school bosses with a video of the alleged incident.

Describing a still image taken from the video Dr Grant said that “Miss McConnell’s hand is flat towards pupil A’s groin.”

The hearing continues.