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  #1    
Old July 20th, 2013, 07:44 PM
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Holli McCann, 11, had tucked into the 20p confectionary on the first night of the week-long break in the Isle of Wight, along with two other Year Six roommates.

She described the secret snack in her first letter home, which was read by teachers despite being in a sealed envelope.

They immediately searched her room at Beaufort House hotel in Sandown for more chocolate, removing the lining of her suitcase and tipping out her toilet bag as if she was “running an international drug smuggling operation”.

When they found more bars, Holli was thrown off the holiday for breaching a “charter” banning chocolate.

A message was sent to her mother, Kerri, asking her to urgently contact the hotel.

Yvonne Graves, the headmistress at Bromet Primary School in Watford, Herts, told her what had happened and requested she come and collect her daughter immediately.

Holli’s mother urged Ms Graves to reconsider but she refused and said if Holli was not picked up she would have to attend all the planned activities but would not be allowed to join in any of them.

As a result, Mrs McCann had to drive through the night from her home in Croxley Green, Herts, to make the 160-mile round trip with two ferry crossings to collect Holli.

The unemployed 47-year-old, who is a full-time carer for her autistic son, had saved for six months to pay for the £300 holiday and was forced to borrow another £130 from family and friends to cover her own travel costs.

She said Holli had been “so excited” about the trip, which began on July 1, and was delighted to get a room with her best friends.

"They had been planning the feast weeks before the trip and Holli was in charge of bringing the chocolate,” she said.

"It wasn't even at midnight. They ate the chocolate at about 9.30pm and it only went on for about 15 minutes. It's not like they were having a party or making noise.

"The teachers had no idea about it until they read Holli's letter to me.

"I am furious that they read her letter, it is like being in prison. It's not like she is five - she is 11 and deserves privacy in what she writes to her mum.”

"Holli said she was really upset because they emptied her toiletry bag into the sink and pulled out the lining in her suitcase.

"It was carried out in such a manner you would have thought they were running an international drug smuggling operation from their hotel room.

"I don't see how eating chocolate makes the holiday unsafe. They were not being naughty - they were just having fun."

She said she thought it “too cruel” for her daughter to stay on the trip and not be able to participate in any activities, and has formally complained to the school and governors.

The school refused to comment on the row but Hertfordshire County Council said: "Before the Year Six trip to the Isle of Wight, parents and pupils were asked to sign a behaviour charter which clearly outlines how pupils should behave during the trip.

"This is to ensure that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

"It was made clear that breaking any of the rules within the charter would result in parents being asked to take their child home, as was the case with this pupil."
Source.

Okay, I understand things may be different in Europe than over here in North America, but how is eating chocolate an offense for being on a school trip?!
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  #2    
Old July 20th, 2013, 07:56 PM
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Maybe they just wanted to be uber safe about allergies?

Seems a bit much, though.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 08:17 PM
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Can we go back to the D&D forum where, instead of people posting articles that make me hate humanity more than I already do, heated debates on sexuality and religion can be found that are pretty entertaining to read from an outsider's point of view? Please??
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Old July 20th, 2013, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Patchisou Yutohru View Post
Can we go back to the D&D forum where, instead of people posting articles that make me hate humanity more than I already do, heated debates on sexuality and religion can be found that are pretty entertaining to read from an outsider's point of view? Please??
No. :O Sexuality and religion shouldn't even need to be discussed in a perfect world, you love whoever you want and believe whatever you want, that's your personal choice and can be respected. Ha. The moon is made of cheese and the streets are paved with gold.

On topic, Bringing chocolates/peanuts etc there is a good reason they are not allowed on school activities as people may have severe allergies where even the slightest exposure could potentially be fatal. A school is certainly within its rights to mitigate that risk. However reading that girls mail was certainly NOT acceptable and the teacher who did that should be disciplined.

The reaction was also completely unjustified, you confiscate the chocolates and send out a warning, This is just bureacracy at its most idiotic. More than anything else i'm disappointed this happened at a public school, I've grown to expect this sort of thing from private and religious schools with their extremist views and ideals of untouchable power but public education? No, that should be logical and effective. Hopefully public outcry forces a change, it makes me sad and angry about the huge overreaction to an 11 year old girl eating candy
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Old July 20th, 2013, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by O07_eleven View Post
No. :O Sexuality and religion shouldn't even need to be discussed in a perfect world, you love whoever you want and believe whatever you want, that's your personal choice and can be respected. Ha. The moon is made of cheese and the streets are paved with gold.

On topic, Bringing chocolates/peanuts etc there is a good reason they are not allowed on school activities as people may have severe allergies where even the slightest exposure could potentially be fatal. A school is certainly within its rights to mitigate that risk. However reading that girls mail was certainly NOT acceptable and the teacher who did that should be disciplined.

The reaction was also completely unjustified, you confiscate the chocolates and send out a warning, This is just bureacracy at its most idiotic. More than anything else i'm disappointed this happened at a public school, I've grown to expect this sort of thing from private and religious schools with their extremist views and ideals of untouchable power but public education? No, that should be logical and effective. Hopefully public outcry forces a change, it makes me sad and angry about the huge overreaction to an 11 year old girl eating candy :(
The world's not perfect.

And this is almost as bad as the kid who got suspended from school for making a gun shape out of his poptart.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 09:40 PM
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Well that's just appalling.

Should the child have broken the rules set in place by the school? No
Should the parent have encouraged the breaking of these rules? No
But, should those teachers have not just embarrassed the poor girl but also violated her privacy? HELL ******* NO.

The only reason these teachers had any proof that a breach in the rules had occurred was because they had violated the privacy of an eleven year old by reading her mail (speaking of which, isn't reading another person's mail illegal in many places?) which could have contained anything of a personal nature, not just evidence of the rule breaking. The, to top that off, what did they do about this? They not only violated their student's privacy further but also destroyed her (or more likely her mother's) property.

I understand that allergies and chocolate/nuts don't mix but that doesn't excuse what these teachers have done. The invasion of a persons privacy is something that I personally condone and get very up-in-arms about - probably because I value my privacy and the privacy of others a lot (but that's not important).

What this girl did was wrong, but what those teachers did was far worse.
It's people like these teachers that make me lose faith in the very institution I'm soon to be a part of.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Livewire View Post
This is almost as bad as the kid who got suspended from school for making a gun shape out of his poptart.
Ah, that was a great topic. In that case there was a slim basis as to why everyone overreacted, despite being humanely pathetic. This one is somewhat uncertain and just weird.

My real question is, why did the girl act like having all that chocolate was a big deal? I mean, she hid it in a toilet bag and in her suitcase lining, which really makes no sense and it just outright odd. If you want some chocolate, bring maybe three or four bars, and maybe some for your friends because I guess this was some kind of bizarre party/ritual centered around eating it, so they'd probably want some too. She treated it like she was sneaking people across the border.

As for the teachers, let's point out that opening people's mail is indeed illegal, and the fact that they didn't receive legal punishment for that is concerning nonetheless. But treating the girl as they did was unnecessary. I mean, come on, it's not like she was grinding up the chocolate and dumping the powder into the water tank. She obviously had no intentions to poison anyone and simply wanted to binge on chocolate, so the extremity of the punishment was just wrong in every sense. It's even worse that they let her stay on the trip yet they wouldn't let her do anything. In the definition of hazing, that's exclusion, and teachers are not supposed to promote bullying, which they clearly did. That right there is solid basis that the teachers were wrong.

Simply put, people are nuts. No pun intended.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 03:40 AM
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Slow news day, huh?

On one hand echoing everyone else overreaction etc this is kinda ridiculous. However, of all the responses given so far,
Quote:
My real question is, why did the girl act like having all that chocolate was a big deal? I mean, she hid it in a toilet bag and in her suitcase lining, which really makes no sense and it just outright odd. If you want some chocolate, bring maybe three or four bars, and maybe some for your friends because I guess this was some kind of bizarre party/ritual centered around eating it, so they'd probably want some too. She treated it like she was sneaking people across the border.
is the one that actually made me think. Maybe there was a valid reason for there being no chocolate allowed? I noticed the article managed to rather skilfully skip over the actual reasoning behind the ban. How do we know that there wasn't a child with very serious allergies, for example? The way that this kid hid the chocolate is to me suggestive of the idea that perhaps the school was especially clear that they didn't want it there, and if they were so tight for a good reason (which I imagine they were), then... I'm kinda questioning what she expected. She was told that she'd be sent home for breaking the rules. She broke the rules. She got sent home. Scandal? I actually think that maybe a lot of details regarding this ban itself have been omitted for the sake of making it seem more ridiculous.

As for the whole letters thing - I'm uncertain but I don't think that, due to child protection laws for teachers, it's illegal to read the mail that a child sends hope while that child is under your temporary care. Necessary or moral? Very arguable depending on the particular children on that trip (for example, do any of them have special situations which need attending to?) but no, I highly doubt it's straight-up illegal.

I'm not backing up the school's actions since I do think they're kinda over-the-top and I do think the letter opening was a bit... shifty, but I don't think this is as big a deal as it's being made out to be. Like, at all. News stories are written like this to make us think something which could be totally reasonable is a huge thing and... yeah. I'll stop now, haha.

I have to wonder though, wtf kind of a chocolate bar did she get for 20p? @__@

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachLMedia
I understand things may be different in Europe than over here in North America
Europe is a big continent, dude. And the UK is especially different. You can't really group it together as one group of people who do things one particular way. d:
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Old July 21st, 2013, 11:59 AM
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Bunch of bureaucratic idiots. They ought to be fired. Let the kids have some fun, jerks.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 04:02 PM
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Bunch of bureaucratic idiots. They ought to be fired. Let the kids have some fun, jerks.
This.

The school is missing the bigger picture
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 05:42 PM
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I don't know whether to think this is funny, ridiculous, or both? Maybe there was an incident in previous years where some of the kids overdosed themselves on sugar and one had some sort of diabetic attack.. and the school district wanted to make sure this wouldn't happen again so they banned all sugary treats? Let's not go on some hypothetical slippery slope tangent here. This is just plain bizarre, and for the teachers to carry out such an extensive search just makes the situation ten times more ludicrous. I wonder if the waiver the parents had to sign did actually state that no chocolate would be allowed on the trip. If the whole chocolate thing was such an issue, the teachers should have just confiscated it and scolded the kids or something, but not make the poor girl's mom come and pick her up because of her 'illegal' chocolate stash. What are people thinking these days lol.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 10:00 AM
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Sounds like that teacher is going through menopause.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by twocows View Post
Bunch of bureaucratic idiots. They ought to be fired. Let the kids have some fun, jerks.
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Originally Posted by TRIFORCE89 View Post
This.

The school is missing the bigger picture
I think you two should go back to RL's post, he makes a good point.

Chances are, the ban wasn't for nothing. It could have been banned due to allergies, hell - even the place they were staying might have a no chocolate policy, I've heard crazier things.

The rules were clear, the child knew they were breaking the rules (hence hiding it) and the teachers followed through. Easy.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 10:45 AM
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The only thing I can see being a reason would be food allergies. If there was a few children with nut or cocoa allergies, maybe they were forbidden from bringing food that is potentially harmful to other children. Though, this is a stretch to say the very least.

For some reason I just keep thinking of the South Park episode where Cartman is at a fat camp, and is operating a blackmarket candy shop as if he was smuggling in drugs. This story is sad for the girl, but at the same time it is hard not to find humor in it, given how ridiculous it is.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Either way, it wasn't said that there was a policy for an adult infringing on someone else's private property. In this case, the letter. If it was opened beforehand, I would say that the school should be held accountable for these actions, just as the girl should've followed the rules, the school should also be responsible for upholding the law.
According to the internet:



Opening someone else's mail is a federal offense.

Section 1702. Obstruction of correspondence


Whoever takes any letter, postal card, or package out of any post office or any authorized depository for mail matter, or from any letter or mail carrier, or which has been in any post office or authorized depository, or in the custody of any letter or mail carrier, before it has been delivered to the person to whom it was directed, with design to obstruct the correspondence, or to pry into the business or secrets of another, or opens, secretes, embezzles, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 11:12 AM
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@Kura - Isn't that the law from the US? I'm not disputing you since I made the very same point earlier, and could very well be wrong, but if I am correct and that is a US law it seems as though it would make more sense to reference the law of the articles country of origin. I thought this was a story from Europe?

As for those who are saying that the teachers were too harsh on the girl - outside of the context of this article this isn't quite the case. Whilst the punishment they dolled out was harsh if it was stated that this is what she would receive and the girl knowingly broke the rules anyway she does deserve that punishment.

The problem here isn't the severity of the punishment though, it is how the teachers came to discover the offence in the first place. Even if it isn't against the law for some reason, what these teachers did was highly unethical. They violated this girl's privacy and probably damaged her property - after all I don't remember the article saying the chocolate was ever actually found in her suitcase's lining (although I could be wrong and will possibly amend this after re-reading).

It's not that there was nothing wrong with what the girl did, it is just that what she did wrong doesn't compare to what her teachers did.

I'll apologize for how poorly written this post was, it's after 3:00am and I really should be sleeping right now.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 11:47 AM
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AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I find this hiiilarious, because back when I was in primary school where I live (I live in a small town in London btw) there was also these trips to Isle of Wight in year 6, and one of the rules was no chocolate. I find it this story astounding though because a boy in my class did bring a chocolate with him and even though the teachers found out they just sighed and let him have it lol.

The fact that the girl's poor mum had to drive down 160 miles and catch a ferry is quite ridiculous. I mean come on, seriously?
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Old July 24th, 2013, 01:25 PM
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I think everyone here has already said what I wanted to say, but I suppose I'll leave my two cents either way.

The ban was probably due to an allergy that the school did not want to have to deal with. They could get in quite a bit of trouble if someone had an allergic reaction and needed hospital treatment. The teacher's reaction may have been a bit out of line, but it was probably for good reason. From the way it sounds, the girl hid the chocolate because she knew of the ban, which means she was being dishonest. I don't think she should've been banned, but some sort of punishment was needed.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 06:48 PM
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Do they really hate chocolate that much?

No, but in all seriousness, that was extremely harsh and unnecessary, especially that they read her private mail and trashed her things due to a tiny violation such as having chocolate. I would understand a small punishment as in, like, time out or something, but doing that to a family? How awful. Things like these make me so much angrier at humans, I just want to crawl in a hole and cry.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 07:11 PM
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...what the heck? That really is odd...I mean, seriously...gee, why would they even go through all that trouble anyway, it's just food. It would be like locking everyone who had diabetes in a asylum...
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