Mail Online has apologised and paid “substantial damages” plus legal costs to a teacher libelled in a Katie Hopkins column.
The column was published on 5 February 2017 and wrongly stated that Jackie Teale had taken her class to protest against Donald Trump outside Westminster. In fact she took a banner made by some of her 12-year-old pupils to the protest.
Writing for The Guardian on 2 February this year, Teale spoke about her interactions with Hopkins on Twitter.
Responding to a column from Hopkins which said UK anti-Trump protesters were: “unemployed, unwashed child-neglectors” Teale replied on Twitter: “I went after a 12-hour day at work, to take a banner made by some of my Year 8 pupils who have more heart (and brain) than you.”
Hopkins retweeted this and said: “I fear for young minds, brainwashed by liberals pushing their agenda…8?”
Teale said the poster actually showed the quote from Martin Luther King: “I have a dream”.
A Hopkins column published on 5 February was headlined: “Schools are supposed to teach kids HOW to think for themselves, not WHAT to think. So why are so many liberal teachers bullying and brain-washing children with their own intolerant views?”.
The apology, published by Mail Online today states:
“An article published in Katie Hopkins’ column on 5 February 2017 reported that Jackie Teale, a teacher, had taken her class to a protest against Donald Trump outside Westminster. We are happy to make clear that that statement was wrong. It was in fact a banner made by some of her twelve-year-old pupils which she took to the protest. We apologise to Ms Teale for this error and have agreed to pay Ms Teale substantial damages and legal costs.”
Hopkins has written a column for Mail Online for two years. The last one appeared on 5 October and Press Gazette revealed yesterday that she has left the publisher by “mutual consent”.
She also yesterday deleted all her historic posts on Twitter.