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'Striptease' teacher defends his style

PUBLISHED: 17:43 25 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:09 07 July 2010

A Thetford supply teacher who performed an impromptu striptease for a class of 14-year-old pupils has defended his actions as part of his "style of teaching".

A Thetford supply teacher who performed an impromptu striptease for a class of 14-year-old pupils has defended his actions as part of his “style of teaching”.

Martin Rouse said he took his shirt off in front of pupils at Sudbury Upper School as a way of holding the attention of disruptive pupils, but was left shocked by the uproar caused by his actions, which were posted on a website after being recorded on a mobile phone.

The 57-year-old from Thetford was asked to leave the Suffolk school on the day of the incident and has since been banned from working at all of the county's 357 educational establishments.

Mr Rouse, who began his teaching career more than 30 years ago at Breckland Middle School, in Brandon, said he regretted the incident, but he was just trying to be “cool”.

The strip, which occurred after a pupil goaded him to show his muscles, ended up on video-sharing site YouTube, but has since been removed.

The father-of-two, who works part-time for supply agency UK Teaching, said that although he understood he was not going to be hired in Suffolk again, he was hopeful of teaching again.

Mr Rouse said: “I generally have a fairly humorous rapport with students because it helps them to work - it is not entertainment for entertainment's sake. It is about getting them involved, some of them are pretty bored and turned off and you have to work really hard to get them involved.”

“I regret it in that it might affect my employability and I would never do it again but I won't change my style of teaching. It wasn't lewd or sexual but I think a staff member thought it was. If teachers can't express themselves and show themselves as living, thinking people, then it is a bad step for education,” he said.

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said the education authority would be seeking a meeting with Mr Rouse to discuss the matter.

“The best protection for any member of the teaching profession is to ensure that they conduct themselves professionally at all times, in line with the school's policies, so that they do not attract complaints of inappropriate behaviour,” he said.

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