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400K British Pounds for Educational Malpractice by University Academics

Education and the Law Volume 18, Number 2, ISSN 0953-9964


The Canadian Supreme Court in "Young v. Bella" has approved the award of C$840K to Ms Young against the Memorial University of Newfoundland and also two of its academics. In this article, the author comments on the "Young v. Bella" case. Ms Young was a distance-learning student studying social work and hoped to get on a professional course and so become a social worker. Her lecturer (Professor Bella) negligently misinterpreted an appendix written in the first-person within Ms Young's written assignment as a confession of having sexually abused children, as a cry-for-help expressed indirectly in the assignment's text. In fact, there was a missing footnote that would have clarified the phrases referred to a third party. Professor Bella did not raise the issue with Ms Young but referred the matter to the other academic sued by Ms Young, Dr Rowe as the Director of the School of Social Work, and, again without any reference to Ms Young, he sent a "suspected ill-treatment" report to the Child Protection Services (CPS) which in turn took two years (sic!) to contact Ms Young. During this time, crucially, the CPS disclosed the ill-founded suspicion to potential local authorities that might have employed Ms Young: she was "red flagged" and entered on the Child Abuse Register. This "bizarre misunderstanding" was speedily corrected by Ms Young's explanation once the CPS eventually and belatedly contacted her. (Contains 12 notes.)


Palfreyman, D. (2006). 400K British Pounds for Educational Malpractice by University Academics. Education and the Law, 18(2), 217-220. Retrieved May 23, 2022 from .

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