Well, several of them, have now been suspended.
And I really, really hope the teachers at Manor School in Melksham, Wiltshire are paying attention:
A boy of five was left stranded in a tree at school because of a bizarre health and safety policy - which banned teachers from helping him down.Oh, terrific. Tell me, do they have the same policy for other occurrences? A knife-wielding maniac? A dangerous dog loose in the playground?
The mischievous pupil climbed the 20ft tree at the end of morning break and refused to come down.
But instead of helping him, staff followed guidelines and retreated inside the school building to ‘observe from a distance’ so the child would not get ‘distracted and fall’.
So, what happened, while these concerned professionals, acting in loco parentis, were hiding in the staff room taking bets on whether he'd break his leg, arm or neck when he eventually fell out?
Well, a member of the public saw the lad and, lacking the finely honed instincts of the professional Guardian-reading classes thought 'Oh! Child, tree, that's not a good combination!'and simply helped him.
Was she thanked? Reader, she was not:
The boy was only rescued after 45 minutes in the tree when passer-by Kim Barrett, 38, noticed the child and helped him down herself.Just savor that for a moment...
But instead of being thanked for her actions by the headteacher of the Manor School in Melksham, Wiltshire, she was reported to the police for trespassing.
‘I was immediately concerned. I walked over to the school with the boy and was met by the associate head.And the police promptly passed this parcel of brown, smelly, ticking PR nightmare to the only people stupid enough to think it was a good idea to remonstrate with a concerned passer by for ensuring a five-year-old didn't break his neck:
‘He didn't appear at all concerned, and was actually very patronising, patting me on the arm and asking me “what do you expect me to do, exactly, dear?”
‘When I said I thought it was a serious incident, he then said his only concern was me trespassing.
Later that evening a letter from headteacher Beverley Martin was posted through Miss Barrett’s door, explaining that the school had contacted police about the incident.It would have to be a PCSO, wouldn't it?
The next morning she was visited by a PCSO who told her she had committed a trespassing offence by helping the young schoolboy down from the tree.
And isn't it surprising that if you allow your own children to climb a roof, it's 'Go, go. go!' for the police, yet if your child's teacher does it, it's fine and 'within the guidelines'..?
Is a little consistency too much to ask?
H/T: commenter Jeff Wood
Update:C.J. Nerd in the comments points to a rebuttal from the school concerned. The real story, or hasty spin and ass-covering? The really sad thing is would anyone be surprised if the latter?