Published: 09:50, 28 August 2014 |
Updated: 10:44, 28 August 2014
A children’s centre worker who wrote a saucy book about her illicit affair with a school technician while a teenager has lost her job after it sparked concerns from parents.
Bettina Bunte, 51, worked in Whitstable for more than four years before she was sacked following the release of her self-published novel The Lost Soul.
Writing under her pseudonym Cass E Ritter, the book loosely recounts her troubled childhood and sexual encounters with a married middle-aged man while at school.
But explicit descriptions similar to raunchy bestseller Fifty Shades Of Grey led to talks with unimpressed bosses at Kent County Council who dismissed her.
The 51-year-old says she was “shocked” at losing her job after being offered a permanent position to join the children’s centre.
She said: “They called me during work in the morning to attend a meeting in the afternoon.
“I asked what it was about but all they said was it is something about the book. We discussed it at the meeting where they asked me a number of questions. I was told KCC cannot be seen to promote this sort of thing.
“They felt it was a problem as it had damaged the reputation by making the link between the book and children’s centre. I had applied and was offered a permanent position which was then withdrawn and my employment was terminated.
“I was shocked, extremely shocked. I tried not to say anything rude. I felt their reaction was out of proportion and judgmental.”
Kent County Council spokesman Jo Toscano says the authority took action after concerns were raised by staff and parents after the novel’s release.
She said: “Ms Bunte was employed through an agency to work at one of our children’s centres.
“Following the publicity around her self-published novel and the issues discussed in the article, concerns were raised by staff and parents.
"Managers met with Ms Bunte to discuss these issues and, following this meeting, continued to have concerns about her suitability to continue working at the centre.
"It was felt that the most appropriate action was to stop her employment as agency cover. She will no longer be working for us.”
Ms Bunte added she took legal advice in the hope of challenging her dismissal but is unable to as she works for an agency as opposed to a company.
“They did what they did because they can. I was working in a very good team with a supportive manager but I have no comeback against them.”
Ms Bunte, who grew up in Munich before joining a school in Kent, is currently working on a sequel to The Lost Soul which is due to be released later this year.
She is to attend the Herne Bay Festival at the Ladies Who Latte event to promote her book on Friday from 11am at the Central Bandstand.
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