Meek blames “wholly inaccurate” media for forcing Riley’s permanent exclusion
The expulsion of 6-year old Riley Pearson from Colnbrook C of E has taken another twist with the school hitting out (again) at local and national press coverage of its action, issuing a press release to defend its position. It says Riley didn’t just have mini cheddars in his lunch box, but OTHER snacks as well, making the media allegations “wholly inaccurate”.
The school’s actions have now been picked up by all the nationals and even featured on Radio Berkshire’s Andrew Peach show who interviewed Riley’s mother on Tuesday.
In the statement posted on its website, the school says:
… it is extremely disappointing that the media have been provided with such grossly misleading information which has resulted in them running a wholly inaccurate and potentially damaging story for our school.
The schools says it has NOT expelled Riley for having mini cheddars in his lunchbox, but because of a “persistent and deliberate breach of school policy, such as bringing in crisps, biscuits, sausage rolls, mini sausages, scotch eggs and similar”.
It says it was obliged to act because the parents threatened to send Riley to school with “insufficient food to sustain him throughout the school day”.
The statement continues:
The school would only use a permanent exclusion as a final resort when all other avenues have been exhausted. Today (Tuesday 4th February) the school has taken the decision to permanently exclude a pupil for the following reasons:
Persistent breaches of school policies.
During the course of a recent four day exclusion, the pupil’s parents made it publicly clear that their child would not be following the school’s policy on healthy eating upon their return.
The parent school relationship suffering an irretrievable breakdown that would have put two pupils in an unacceptable position.
While it appears the school admits it has expelled Riley for having the “wrong” food in his lunch box it bizarrely puts the blame on the breakdown of its relationship with Riley’s parents squarely on the shoulders of the media:
This breakdown was due to misrepresentations in the local and national media that were both wholly inaccurate and grossly misleading, abusive language being used towards staff, and other inappropriate actions being taken that were designed to damage the school’s reputation.