What happened to Mr. Hackman in To Sir, with Love?

In To Sir, with Love, Mr. Hackman left the school, unable to handle his difficult pupils. As Vivienne tells Braithwaite, Hackman tried to be popular with the kids and they ended up taking advantage of him. They ended up being in charge of the class, not him. Vivienne urges Braithwaite not to make the same mistake and be firm with the pupils of Mr. Hackman's former class.

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Not long after arriving at the school, Mr. Braithwaite realizes he's in for a real baptism of fire. The children he's been deputed to teach are effectively responsible for driving a fellow teacher, Mr. Hackman, from the school. As Braithwaite finds out, Hackman made the big mistake of trying to be popular with these dead-end kids, and they ended up taking advantage of him. Trying to make himself out to be a friend rather than a teacher, Mr. Hackman was unable to command respect from this class full of tearaways. And so they proceeded to run rings around him, pretty much doing as they pleased.

It's notable that when Braithwaite first bumps into one of Mr. Hackman's pupils, he's told that Hackman has gone to the staff room and won't come back to class until his pupils have learned how to behave themselves. But when Braithwaite pops his head round the staff room door, poor old Hackman's nowhere to be seen. It seems that "Old Hack" has finally realized that his pupils are never going to behave themselves.

It isn't very long before Braithwaite discovers that Hackman's gone for good, leaving him to teach his ignorant, badly-behaved pupils. Under the circumstances, it's little wonder that a colleague describes Braithwaite as a lamb to the slaughter.

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