Farnley Academy in Leeds has a strict policy on mobile phones on their school grounds, which parent’s say is treating children like they’re in a ‘military camp’.
One parent has told of a time his son’s phone was confiscated and kept by the school for a full weekend after it “made a noise out of his bag”.
Don Pilot, whose son is a Year 9 pupil at the school said he has taken drastic action after claiming children at the school are treated like soldiers in a military camp.
He says that in Year 7, his son’s phone was confiscated and kept over the weekend at school, preventing the youngster from having access to his bus pass.
But Mr Pilot claims the same thing happened again recently, so he decided to take drastic action.
He told Leeds Live : “The school told me ‘you signed a policy at the beginning of the year, we can offer you two options: keep him at reception for you to pick him up, or we can offer a buss pass.’
“We we’re going round and round in circles. The school refused to meet us half way and I said ‘punish him, fine, give him detention just do not remove his only avenue of help’.
“I told them to get my son as they clearly didn’t care about his safety; so we took him and they didn’t see him again.”
However Farnley Academy says their policy is clearly stated in the terms of agreement given to pupils when starting the school and it’s published on the school website.
Mr Pilot claims he confronted the school after they kept the phone over the weekend when his son’s phone “made a noise out of his bag.”
Mr Pilot said: “I expect my kid to make mistakes. Anyone can make mistakes, executives makes mistakes – we apologise and put it away.
“It’s worrying and ridiculous and it got to a place where enough was enough.”
After the latest row with the school, Mr Pilot contacted West Yorkshire Police who said they would not get involved due to it being a “civil matter”.
However Mr Pilot is not the only parent with concerns regarding Farnley Academy’s mobile phone policy.
One mum Claire said her son’s phone was allegedly confiscated for two days, leaving her worried about whether he was going to and returning from school.
She claims her son was using his phone after school hours on a public footpath when it was confiscated.
But Claire alleges that when she challenged the school, they claimed it was school policy to confiscate phones used anywhere on the premises.
Claire says with nights getting darker earlier, she worries about her son, who is just 12, walking home after school without a mobile phone.
She claims that when she raised these concerns the school “laughed at me”.
Claire said: “I brought up safeguarding and the school laughed at me.
“Even though my son was on a public footpath it was still classed as in the boundaries, these schools that do this are disgusting and should be brought to task over it.
“The school clearly has no concern for the child while walking or getting home.”
A spokesperson at The Farnley Academy says: “Our behaviour policy provides clear instructions to students and their families on our expectations around the use of mobile phones and the consequences for using them.
“The policy, which is on our website and is reiterated to students at the start of the academic year, has written and photographic guidance as to where mobiles can be used after the school day has finished.
“In this instance, phones cannot be used until students have passed the railings at the end of the drive by Lawns Park Primary School.”
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