SCOTLAND’S children’s commissioner has said that Aberdeenshire Council should have told parents about a WhatsApp group in which a teacher said he would “happily stab kids”.

The existence of the chat between staff at Aberdeenshire schools was first revealed by the BBC in 2022, with a range of messages singling out specific children’s behaviour – and a particular comment by one teacher saying he would “happily stab” a pupil with a pencil making headlines.

Aberdeenshire Council decided at the time not to tell the parents, arguing that the exchanges did not give any child protection concerns. They commissioned an independent review which said that the messages were “disparaging” but backed the decision not to tell parents.

Now, Police Scotland has just concluded assessing the messages, finding there was no criminality.

READ MORE: Teachers investigated over ‘degrading’ messages about additional needs pupils

And The National has also revealed the full extent of the disturbing messages, which also show a lack of empathy for those with special needs and comments disrespecting parents.

Nick Hobbs, head of advice and investigations for the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, told The National that his office raised a “number of concerns” with Aberdeenshire Council about this case from 2021 onwards.

Among those was the “failure” to tell the children and their families about the WhatsApp messages, either at the time or subsequently.

“We repeatedly made clear to the council that the children’s rights issues engaged went beyond simply child protection and engaged rights to education, to non-discrimination and to privacy,” he said.

“This decision (to not inform parents) denied their right to complain, to seek redress and to receive an apology from the council.

“We were disappointed that the council’s independent review did not properly engage with any of these issues and that our office was not permitted to contribute to the evidence gathering.

“We have called for Aberdeenshire Council to deal with any future incidents in a more rights-respecting manner.”