Parents join forces with strict school rules in Leeds, putting children at risk

Leeds parents have been faced with strict rules at a school in Leeds that they claim endanger their children.

Farnley Academy, Leeds, West Yorkshire have a strict policy when it comes to mobile phones on their school grounds, which they say is clearly stated in the terms of the agreement when starting the school and on the school’s website.

But some parents have challenged this policy regarding the protection of their children, which has resulted in one student being expelled from the school.

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Don Pilot, whose son is a 9th grade student at Farnley Academy in Chapel Lane, said he has taken drastic action after alleging children at the school were treated like soldiers in a military camp.

He says in 7th grade his son’s phone was confiscated and kept at school over the weekend, preventing the youth from accessing his bus pass.

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After the same thing happened recently, Mr Pilot decided to take drastic measures.

He said: “The school told me you signed a policy at the beginning of the year, we can offer you two options: keep it at the front desk so you can pick it up, or we can offer a bus pass.”

“We go in circles. The school refused to meet us halfway through and I said ‘punish him, fine, give him detention, don’t remove his only means of help’.

“I told them to get my son because they clearly didn’t care about his safety, so we took him and they haven’t seen him since.”

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Farnley Academy said it had a clear policy on cell phone use, with Mr Pilot claiming he confronted the school after they kept the phone over the weekend when his son’s phone ‘made noise from his bag’ .

Mr Pilot said: “I expect my child to make mistakes. Anyone can make mistakes, supervisors make mistakes – we apologize and put it away.

“It’s disturbing and ridiculous and it got to a point where enough was enough.”

Following the latest spat with the school, Mr Pilot contacted the West Yorkshire Police, who said they would not become involved as it was a “civil matter”.

‘The school laughed at me’

Farnley Academy

Mr Pilot isn’t the only parent concerned about Farnley Academy’s cell phone policies.

Claire, who is the mother of a student at the school, said she was concerned that he would go to school and come back after his phone was seized for two days.

She claims her son was using his phone on a public footpath after school when it was seized.

However, Claire claims that when she challenged the school, they claimed it was school policy to confiscate phones used all over the property.

As the nights fall, Claire admits she is concerned about her 12-year-old son walking home without a cell phone after school. She claims that when she raised these concerns, the school “laughed at me”.

Claire said, “I brought up security and the school laughed at me.

“Even though my son was on a public footpath it was still classified as within bounds, these schools that are doing this are disgusting and should be held accountable.

“The school clearly doesn’t pay attention to the child while walking or coming home.”

What the school says

A spokesperson for The Farnley Academy said: “Our conduct policy provides students and their families with clear instructions about our expectations regarding cell phone use and its consequences.

“The policy, posted on our website and repeated to students at the beginning of the academic year, contains written and photographic guidelines about where cell phones can be used after the school day has ended.

“In this case, telephones cannot be used until students have passed the railings at the end of Lawns Park Primary School’s driveway.”

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