Quite right, you may say – there’s a place and time for paintballing, and it isn’t in school!
Well, umm, this wasn't – it was in his own time and the school objected to him posting images on Facebook:
Police officers questioned the 17-year-old Slough Grammar School student after headteacher Margaret Lenton saw a photo of the bearded-pupil posing with a paintballing gun in overalls with the full headgear. The image, which is on the internet, is believed to have been taken when the youngster went paintballing with a group of friends.And so headmistress Lenton, having reacted to this hideous image in the same way old maids are said to react to a mouse in their kitchen, immediately called the law.
Police officers confirmed they met the boy and his family and were happy that no offences were committed.I don’t know what’s worse – that the police didn’t just flip to the Facebook entry, say ‘It’s a paintball gun, you silly cow!’ and slam the phone down, or that the family members are apparently ‘happy’ that the Old Bill feel justified in calling round to have a ‘chat’ on the basis of a teacher’s snooping on their son’s Facebook page!
A police statement added: “The student was found to be in possession of some pictures that were brought to the attention of the headteacher. To help address and prevent further concerns, officers arranged to meet with the student and his family. Officers were reassured that this is not a police matter. The family members were left happy with the police’s response. This is now a matter for the school.”
However, the suspension has caused anger among fellow pupils at the Lascelles Road school who campaigned against the suspension.Bravo that pupil! Obviously, Slough Grammar turns out pupils able to think for themselves and reject the unthinking kneejerk reactions of their supposed elders and betters.
More than 100 youngsters, including pupils, have signed up to the campaign group on social networking site Facebook, as an informal petition against what they describe as “the disgraceful and just generally stupid suspension.”
A pupil, who does not want to be named, said: “We all think the suspension was a bit of an over-reaction. He’s a really hard-working student who has been at the school for years. Obviously nobody agrees with carrying a real gun but the photo was just of him holding a paintballing gun when he went out paintballing with his mates as most teenagers do. And that is not illegal.”
But where’s the outrage from the boy’s parents? Why aren’t they up in arms about a headmistress snooping around their son’s Facebook page to criticise and act on activities freely undertaken in his own time? Don’t they think this warrants action to prevent this happening to other pupils? What a pity they haven’t shown as much backbone as their son’s classmates...
Mrs Lenton said her decision was supported by school governors but declined to comment further.No, I bet. I would too, if I were her, and I’d just made as big an arse of myself.
Let’s hope she never drives past Terry Western’s Volvo one afternoon....