Head condemns ‘unacceptable’ student conduct following climate change protest

A number of Berwick Academy students were excluded for their ‘unacceptable’ behaviour on Friday following a climate change demonstration.

Monday, 18th March 2019, 2:23 pm
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 2:33 pm
Tracy Hush, headteacher at Berwick Academy.

The protest ended without incident but whilst most students were returning to lessons a large group chose to run to the far end of the school field.

Headteacher Tracy Hush, in a letter to parents, stated: ‘Our school site is extremely large, therefore, this posed a serious concern around lack of supervision to ensure the safety of our students.

‘Senior staff followed the students and at this point, realising their poor choice of behaviour, some students sensibly chose to return to lessons.

‘A number of others decided not to follow this example and continued to show complete disregard to instructions from senior staff. The manner in which these student conducted themselves was unacceptable, potentially dangerous and was unconnected to the original demonstration.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

‘The incident was dealt with quickly and appropriately.’

As a result, a number of students were excluded from the school until Tuesday.

Police also came into school to talk to students in an informal manner around the difference between peaceful protest and inappropriate behaviour.

On the initial demonstration, Mrs Hush added: ‘Whilst we do not condone this action in school time, we acknowledge that students have a right to voice their concerns about issues that could have significant impact on their future.

‘We took appropriate action to ensure that the students were supervised at all times by senior staff to enable a safe and peaceful protest, whilst respecting their right to demonstrate. The protest ended at noon without incident.’