Hundreds of teenage pupils have rushed to defend their teacher who was suspended after posting a ‘inappropriate’ selfie on social media.
Mum-of-three Lydia Ferguson is part of the pastoral care team at Newport Pagnell’s Ousedale School.
Pupils overheard her being reprimanded last week by a senior staff member over a photograph on her personal Facebook account.
It shows her wearing a white dress, sitting on the edge of a bed. She was accused of looking “sultry” and “provocative”, say the students.
They whipped out their mobile phones and recorded the eight minute row, which took place in the school office.
“Miss Ferguson was saying she didn’t think there was anything wrong with the photo. All it was showing was a bit of leg,” said one pupil.
Shortly afterwards more pupils watched as Miss Ferguson was escorted off the premises to her car.
She is now suspended while the school conducts an investigation.
Meanwhile pupils have launched a petition called ‘Get Miss Ferguson Back’ and have flooded social media with accusations that the school has acted too prudishly.
“There is nothing wrong with the photo at all. We think Miss looks lovely,” said one.
Another said: “She is a brilliant teacher. She is there to help students who have problems like bullying and stuff. She does so much to help us and we’re so upset she’s been suspended.”
Ousedale school has refused to discuss the matter with the Citizen.
Within 24 hours of the ‘Get Miss Ferguson Back’ petition being launched, 250 people – including parents – had signed it. Signatures are still being gathered this week.
The ‘provocative’ photograph of Miss Ferguson started as a single post on her Facebook page. It has now been shared more than 100 times by students on social media.
The photograph has generated 300 comments on social media. “Not a single person thinks there is anything inappropriate about it,” said one student.
Ousedale head Sue Carbert said: “If we have any concerns about a staff member, this would not be discussed with students. We are aware of rumours but conclusions are being drawn which have no factual basis.”