The Quirky Globe
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Monday, January 31, 2011
Pupils stage mass protest after girls told, No holding hands....
Pupils stage protest after girls told off for holding hands
Pupils at a leading Catholic school staged a mass protest by walking out of classes after two girls were reprimanded for holding hands.
St Benedict's Catholic College: Catholic school pupils stormed out of classes in protest after two girls were told off for holding hands
12:40PM GMT 31 Jan 2011
Hundreds of youngsters abandoned lessons in support of their fellow pupils at St Benedict’s Catholic College in Colchester, Essex.
The protest grew as word of the demonstration spread on Facebook, causing several lessons to be cancelled and others continuing virtually empty.
More than 100 children, in years 10 and 11, some carrying placards, gathered on the playing fields last Thursday singing “we shall not be moved”.
The revolt by pupils aged 14 to 16 was sparked when a teacher told off two girls as they walked into a lesson hand in hand.
Teachers at the 840-pupil school have since stripped some of those involved from prefect duties and banned others from playing sports because of involvement in the protest.
One parent, who asked not to be named, described the scenes as “pandemonium”.
He said: “The whole of the second half of the afternoon was disrupted. From what I understand, about a third of Year 10 and 11 pupils were involved. It was absolute chaos.
“It seems the teachers have become quite cavalier and a bit gung ho and flamboyant in the way they deal with pupils. This has had a huge backlash.
“It seems ridiculous to reprimand girls for holding hands, They should be concentrating on more important things.”
John O’Hara, the head teacher, said: “If we see students being overly familiar we always deal with it in an appropriate and tactful way.
“Some students seem to have got the idea there is a new rule where students cannot have any contact with each other.
“It may have come from something a member of staff said to a pupil, but it has been taken way out of proportion.
“The vast majority of students were in lessons, but a minority were out on the school files, which is really disappointing because we have a good reputation for listening to our children.”
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