Students sing 'we shall not be moved' outside Milford Haven School

Western Telegraph: Rhys Johnson. PICTURE: Western Telegraph Rhys Johnson. PICTURE: Western Telegraph

A large group of students have walked out of Milford Haven School this morning (Friday) in support of a pupil who has been placed in isolation following a charity head shave.

The group - estimated at several hundred first thing this morning - gathered outside the gates to support 14 year-old Rhys Johnson, who has been placed to work on his own after having his head shaved to raise money.

Having a shaved head is against school policy.

But Rhys and a friend had their head shaved at a Macmillan Coffee Morning and raised £700.

Rhys got involved after his aunty was diagnosed with cancer.

John Lewis and Sam Hadley, from Year 10, were among those who walked out of school: "We're out for Rhys because he did a really good thing.

"It's for a good cause and he shouldn't get into trouble. His friend is getting praised for it, so why should he get into trouble?"

The students sat down outside the gates and sang 'we shall not be moved'.

Passing cars have been beeping their horns in support as they drive by.

Bethany Roberts’ (year 9) nan Arlene Haynes said: “I’m here to support Rhys and his friends, and to get him back into his classes. He’s done a good thing and he’s been chastised for it.”

Ben Taverner, year 7added: “He helped a cancer charity but he’s getting punished for doing something right.”

Lucy O’Neill, Rhys’ mum, told the Western Telegraph: “I think the support he’s got is fantastic. It’s really overwhelming and the kids are doing for the right reasons.


“It’s disappointing for Rhys – he’s put in the effort and organised something for a good cause, you’d expect the school to support him.
“As long as the students are out here, I’ll be here.

"I just hope the outcome from this is that Rhys can go back into lessons.”

Yesterday, a spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council said: “School policy is set by a school’s Governing Body and implemented by the headteacher and school staff.

“When this policy is disregarded by a pupil – and in this instance the policy has been clearly communicated to the pupil concerned - the school is acting appropriately in enforcing its policy.

 

* See a video of the protest outside the school gates on the Western Telegraph Facebook page by clicking here

Comments (6)

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10:33am Fri 4 Oct 13

teifion says...

The best teachers teach by example so I think this Head Teacher should RESIGN over this (and a fair few other mistakes in the last few weeks)
The best teachers teach by example so I think this Head Teacher should RESIGN over this (and a fair few other mistakes in the last few weeks) teifion

10:44am Fri 4 Oct 13

Samdee79 says...

What ever happened to Human Rights ???? Let's see if the council still have the same to say then !!!!!!
What ever happened to Human Rights ???? Let's see if the council still have the same to say then !!!!!! Samdee79

10:46am Fri 4 Oct 13

Rockface says...

To be fair to the head teacher, the uniform policy does say 'no shaven heads'. What children need to learn about is processes. For example: if the young person involved had perhaps planned this with the full support of the school then maybe he wouldn't be in this predicament. On the other hand, it is the parent's responsibility to ensure their child is sent to school dressed appropriately adhering to the uniform policy. The school are acting inappropriately by punishing a child due to parents no adhering to the policy. It stated quite clearly within the All Wales Exclusion Policy!
To be fair to the head teacher, the uniform policy does say 'no shaven heads'. What children need to learn about is processes. For example: if the young person involved had perhaps planned this with the full support of the school then maybe he wouldn't be in this predicament. On the other hand, it is the parent's responsibility to ensure their child is sent to school dressed appropriately adhering to the uniform policy. The school are acting inappropriately by punishing a child due to parents no adhering to the policy. It stated quite clearly within the All Wales Exclusion Policy! Rockface

10:47am Fri 4 Oct 13

jazzypianoman says...

Not impressed at the attitude shown by the head teacher here... Rhys surely deserves praise not punishment!
Not impressed at the attitude shown by the head teacher here... Rhys surely deserves praise not punishment! jazzypianoman

6:44pm Fri 4 Oct 13

Reader646 says...

Shaving your head when the rules say you can't will obviously have consequences, why couldn't he have done something else for charity or even do it out of school time? I don't see why the school is getting such a bad reception to an obvious reaction to a breach of a clear set of rules.
Shaving your head when the rules say you can't will obviously have consequences, why couldn't he have done something else for charity or even do it out of school time? I don't see why the school is getting such a bad reception to an obvious reaction to a breach of a clear set of rules. Reader646

12:12am Fri 11 Oct 13

Kiwitaff says...

Very poor school management. When a fourteen year old obviously feels passionate about raising money for a worthy cause and has been touched by the the suffering of a family member. He is a very brave young man who clearly has the support of his peers.

Once again a Pembrokeshire CC spokesperson has put their foot in their mouth.
Very poor school management. When a fourteen year old obviously feels passionate about raising money for a worthy cause and has been touched by the the suffering of a family member. He is a very brave young man who clearly has the support of his peers. Once again a Pembrokeshire CC spokesperson has put their foot in their mouth. Kiwitaff

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