HUNDREDS of schoolchildren protested outside Milford Haven Comprehensive School on Friday morning in support of a pupil who they feel has been unfairly treated. As reported in last weeks Herald, Rhys Johnson shaved his head for charity recently in support of his auntie who has recently diagnosed with cancer. Also part of the fund raising action was Tesni Dockerty, a pupil from Tasker Milward School. Rhys was warned by the headteacher of the Milford school that if he went ahead with the fundraising event he would disciplinary action. But Rhys defied the school saying: I cant see anything in the school rules that say I cannot shave my head. We raised a lot of money by doing it, over £700. In my opinion it was totally worth it.
On his return to school Rhys found that he was placed in the head of year room, isolated from the rest of the school.
Commenting at the protest on Friday morning, Rhys said: “I think it’s pathetic that I raised a lot of money for such a good cause, but yet I am isolated from everybody else. I’m not learning much! I want to learn and I want to be back in my lessons. I want my normal education and I want my normal life back. My friend who did it with me is being praised”.
Milford Haven School has issued the following statement to The Herald at 1500HRS Friday:
“The pupil in question and his mother were informed of the consequences of breaking the uniform and appearance rules prior to doing so.
“When the rules were broken an appropriate sanction was enforced, namely supervised study.
“This was a short-term measure which was clearly communicated and a return to the pupil’s normal timetable would have been effective once he complied with the school’s ruling.
“At Milford Haven School we believe it is important to maintain high standards in every aspect of school, life, including uniform and appearance.
“The reason for such policies is that there is a clear link between maintaining high standards in school behaviour and academic achievement.
“And to be fair to all our pupils, these rules must be consistently applied.
“Pupils and parents are frequently reminded of this and the vast majority are fully supportive.
“This issue has not arisen as a result of raising funds. It has arisen because of a clear breach of school rules.
“Pupils at Milford Haven School are widely praised for the work they do together in raising funds for many charities. However, this work is carried out within the boundaries of the school rules.
“While this morning’s demonstration by some pupils was disappointing and ill-advised, lessons for the vast majority of pupils continued as normal.”
The Herald understands that numbers of pupils in the protest did not go into school on Friday.