"Truth seldom is pleasant; it is almost invariably bitter. A loss of courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days..." Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Commencement address at Harvard University , June 8, 1978

Monday, 14 December 2009


A primary school in Bradford has barred a grieving five year old boy from a school disco, which was meant for pupils who had 100 per cent attendance, because he took time off after his dad died of cancer.

Samantha Watson’s children, Sean and Claire, seven, were distraught when they found out they could not attend the end of term disco at Ryecroft Primary school in Bradford. The children took time off, so therefore did not have perfect attendance, when their dad, Michael Watson, died of an aggressive form of throat cancer at the young age of 46.

Obviously outraged, Samantha had this to say:

"They had a couple of days off when their dad passed away and then a couple the week after because of the funeral. I found out that they were not allowed to go because they had time off so I rang the school office to check if this was the case and the women said “bereavements count”. Michael had cancer for two years and it got really bad. The school knew he was poorly and we said we had been told he had not got long. I made them aware that if the worst happened we would have to drag the kids out of school. It’s a lot for them to take at Christmas.”

In response a spokesman from the school commented:

“Following conversations with the head teacher, it appears there was a mistake about the year 1 boy and he could have attended the disco. This would have been put right if the mother had spoken to the right person, because of the way the mother spoke to the admin assistant the opportunity to rectify this appropriately was missed. The school will apologise to mum for this genuine error.”

One thing that annoys me about what the school said is how they are blaming the mother for the fact that her child could not attend the event. It is amazing how they backtrack as soon as the press get wind that they have acted in the most heartless and careless way, especially at this time of year… the time when you are supposed to show love, compassion and look at for others.

Another thing is the fact they only reward students with 100 per cent attendance is madness. Children who do not attend school because they are ill or are grieving and are attending their fathers funeral should not be punished.

I hope all the teachers and admin assistants feel ashamed for making a five year old and a seven year who has just lost their father feel that little bit worse.

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