School taken to task for ‘unfair’ detention

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A parent has hit back at a school that has given her daughter a detention for ‘punishing her by association’.

Jules Minto says it is unfair that daughter Lucy Peart, 14, is being punished with an after-school detention by Kings Langley School for hanging around with friends who were smoking.

Lucy cannot smoke due to a condition called nephrotic syndrome, but was eating her lunch and chatting with her friends when they were caught out by staff.

Jules, of Brickmakers Lane, Hemel Hempstead, said: “It’s just nonsense. Why should she be punished because her mates were smoking? It’s just punishment by association.

“My daughter’s chronically ill and wasn’t smoking, she was just eating and talking with her mates.

“I received a letter stating that she was getting a detention for associating with pupils who were smoking. Since then I’ve been told that she is being punished for being in an area that is out of bounds.

“If they’d said that in the first place that would have been the end of it, but the fact is they wrote to me and told me why she was being punished. Now they’ve changed their mind.”

Gary Lewis, headteacher at the school in Love Lane, said that the school’s policies and rules are very clear.

He said: “Lucy knows that she is the one making her own decisions. If she did not want a detention, then she had the choice not to be there.

“Smoking, or associating with, smokers at school is absolutely against our behaviour policy and you will only be given a detention if you are with people who are smoking, or smoking yourself.

“In terms of smoking, there is very little that occurs here, partly because we deal with any instances very quickly and in the same manner.”