The school and police are facing criticism from the parents of a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly handcuffed and taken to a police station when she attempted to sign her classmates’ shirts. According to the parents, their daughter was removed from Ormiston Horizon Academy in Chell and later collected by them from Burslem Police Station, after the police were called due to students who were banned from a leavers’ celebration refusing to leave the premises. Some students were excluded from the event due to behavioral issues or poor attendance.
The parents claim that they were not contacted by the school and only found out about the incident through word of mouth. The father expressed his disappointment, stating that the school prioritized its reputation over the well-being of the students. He believes that the school made a mockery of the children and created a circus out of the situation. He expressed concern about how this experience might affect the children’s perception of the police when they need help.
The girl’s mother also voiced her frustration, stating that she was not informed about the incident by the school and had to learn about it from another student. She criticized the lack of communication and emphasized the significance of signing t-shirts, which the students missed out on. She believes that if the parents had been contacted beforehand, the incident could have been avoided.
The school spokesperson acknowledged a minor disturbance during the leavers’ assembly and stated that throughout the year, students had been informed of the expected behavior. Those who consistently failed to meet these standards were not invited to the celebrations. The spokesperson asserted that this decision was communicated to all families in a timely and sensitive manner. The police were involved when a small number of students attempted to enter the school despite not being invited. Most students complied with the police’s request to leave, but a few remained, leading to further action.
The school emphasized its commitment to fostering high standards of behavior and expressed pride in the success of the outgoing year 11 students. The spokesperson hoped that the unfortunate events would not overshadow the achievements of the students.
According to a spokesperson from Staffordshire Police, officers were alerted to a group of students who were refusing to leave the school premises and causing disruption. The police attempted to resolve the situation peacefully, and most of the students left voluntarily. However, a small group persisted in causing disruption. A 16-year-old girl was spoken to about breaching the peace and was later collected by her parents from Burslem Police Station. Another teenage boy was detained at the scene but was not further pursued after speaking with the officers.