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Teachers leave boy, 5, stranded in tree because of health and safety (then report passer-by who helped him down to police)

 
Anonymous Hero
User ID: 925741
Australia
03/26/2010 07:23 PM
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Teachers leave boy, 5, stranded in tree because of health and safety (then report passer-by who helped him down to police)
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.

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’.

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.

But instead of being thanked for her actions by the head teacher of the Manor School in Melksham, Wiltshire, she was reported to the police for trespassing.

Miss Barrett, who lives in Melksham with her six-year-old daughter who attends a different school, said she is ‘surprised’ and ‘shocked’ by the school's policy.

She said: 'I was completely shocked when I first saw him because he was sitting on a branch hanging out over the pavement.

'He was so young. He didn't look frightened but he was completely on his own - there were no teachers or friends in the playground and the field was empty.

'I walked past at 11.15am and he told me he had been hiding since the end of playtime because he didn't want to go back into class.

'Break ends at 10.30am so that means he had been in the tree for at least 45 minutes.

‘I stopped to ask him if he was OK, and it became clear that he'd been there since the end of playtime, which had been around half an hour earlier.

‘I was immediately concerned. I walked over to the school with the boy and was met by the associate head.

‘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.

‘I was initially surprised that no one appeared to have missed this boy, no one could have known where he was because they could not have seen him from the school, and I was shocked at the way I was dealt with.’

The incident occurred on the morning of March 1 as Miss Barrett was walking home past the side entrance of 213-pupil The Manor Church of England Primary School.

She claims that she walked around to the front of the school, onto the playing field and then helped the schoolboy down before taking him back to his class.

But the school alleges that she ‘approached the school in an inappropriate way’ and asked her to leave the premises after she got into a row with staff over the boy's welfare.

Later that evening a letter from head teacher Beverley Martin was posted through Miss Barrett’s door, explaining that the school had contacted police about the incident.

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.

Miss Barrett, a part-time cleaner, said: ‘I felt really angry because I felt I had saved the school and this boy from something that could have been far worse, and that instead of thanking me I was under investigation.

‘It was ridiculous. He was all on his own, there was no one near him and you couldn't see the school buildings from where he was.

‘Not only was he at least 6ft off the ground, but someone taller than me could easily have reached in from the pavement and plucked him off the branch.

"The school say he was being watched but that's impossible because there is no line of sight from the school building to the tree.

'I am a mother myself and I find it a bit ridiculous that the school's policy is to leave a child up a tree. I would be very angry if this happened to my child.

'I think this is a big cover up and that the school obviously had no idea he was there. When I took him in they had no idea he was missing.'

Mrs Martin confirmed that the school's policy prevents staff going to the aid of children who have climbed trees.

She said: ‘The safety of our pupils is our priority and we would like to make it clear that this child was being observed at all times during this very short incident.

‘Like other schools whose premises include wooded areas, our policy when a child climbs a tree, is for staff to observe the situation from a distance so the child does not get distracted and fall.

‘We would strongly urge members of the public not to climb over a padlocked gate to approach children as their motives are not clear to staff.

‘To protect children, we cannot assume that people who enter the school grounds without permission have innocent intentions and must act accordingly.

‘If people are concerned about a child's welfare then they should go to the reception and alert a member of staff, who will be happy to help.

‘I am sure these expectations are the same in every school and are centred on children's wellbeing.’

A letter sent to Miss Barrett by Wiltshire Council added: ‘You may well have acted initially out of concern for the safety of the child but any such concerns should have been raised with a member of staff.

‘You subsequently behaved in a verbally aggressive manner to a member of staff.’

[link to www.dailymail.co.uk]
bill shitters 1.2

User ID: 926063
United Kingdom
03/26/2010 07:27 PM

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Re: Teachers leave boy, 5, stranded in tree because of health and safety (then report passer-by who helped him down to police)
what an embarrassment it could only happen in this country
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User ID: 914896
United States
03/26/2010 07:36 PM
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Re: Teachers leave boy, 5, stranded in tree because of health and safety (then report passer-by who helped him down to police)
gosh, what's wrong with people? Stupid
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 72261
New Zealand
03/26/2010 07:39 PM
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Re: Teachers leave boy, 5, stranded in tree because of health and safety (then report passer-by who helped him down to police)
These people are in charge of our children? If I was a parent of that school I would be asking some serious questions - bloody stupid!

Nothing riles me more than the PC crap we have to put up with these days.

another do
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 739636
United States
03/26/2010 07:46 PM
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Re: Teachers leave boy, 5, stranded in tree because of health and safety (then report passer-by who helped him down to police)
These people are in charge of our children? If I was a parent of that school I would be asking some serious questions - bloody stupid!

Nothing riles me more than the PC crap we have to put up with these days.

another do
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 72261


That isn't PC. It is part of the "insurance and lawsuits are the problem" situation.

Kids fall out of trees. They always have. The reason for ignoring them in the tree is so that the school won't be BLAMED for the child falling.

Not calling the Kid moron? That's PC.

Not calling the school workers defective? THAT'S PC.

Leaving a small kids in a tree so they can fall out or figure it out on their own? That's practical Darwinism! :)

But claiming it is for the childs safety, just so you won't get sued?

That's cowardice.

Sorry for the ham handed "correction" but it was a good set up for my rant.

:)

Thanks.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 656642
United States
03/26/2010 07:47 PM
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Re: Teachers leave boy, 5, stranded in tree because of health and safety (then report passer-by who helped him down to police)
OMG! So the school just watched the child and did not call for any type of assistance to get the boy down? I can somewhat understand the "don't startle him" aspect but why didn't the school actually DO something or call someone to help the child down?

This is absolutely ludicrous to charge the woman who helped the child down with trespassing...whatever happened to "Good Samaritan" laws?

This is so messed up.

I weep for our future.
Sly

User ID: 824972
United States
03/26/2010 07:52 PM
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Re: Teachers leave boy, 5, stranded in tree because of health and safety (then report passer-by who helped him down to police)
wtf
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Anonymous Coward
User ID: 296954
United States
03/26/2010 08:09 PM
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Re: Teachers leave boy, 5, stranded in tree because of health and safety (then report passer-by who helped him down to police)
Good grief. blink

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