Letchworth students banned from Tesco store
17:50 07 March 2012
ALL pupils at a Letchworth GC school have been banned from using their nearest supermarket.
Students at Fearnhill School in Letchworth GC were told on Monday they cannot enter the Tesco Express in the Wilbury area of the town.
The supermarket said the decision had been made following a spate of thefts and staff intimidation.
The school in Icknield Way is less than a mile away from the shop, situated in Bedford Road.
A Tesco spokesman said: “Our stores exist to serve customers and so restricting people from shops is always a last resort.
“We are taking these measures in this instance following a spate of thefts and intimidation of our staff, which is unacceptable. We have discussed this matter with the school and the local police and hope to see a resolution to this issue soon.”
Two parents, who both asked to remain anonymous, spoke to the Comet after their sons were refused entry.
One mother said: “There’s quite a few parents that are not happy about it at all. If Tesco let in two children at a time they would know which kids are being abusive and could ban them.
“I totally sympathise with the staff in Tesco as there’s no way they should be abused but at the same time it punishes hundreds of other kids for the actions of a few. I think it’s very, very extreme.”
Another parent added: “It’s something I feel very strongly about and so I’m not going to return to the shop. We’ve got hundreds of pupils in that school and to ban them all seems like discrimination.
“I think the way Tesco has handled it is wrong. I think it’s discrimination and sends out the wrong message to children.”
Fearnhill headteacher Jed Whelan said: “We are working very closely with Tesco and with the manager to try and help alleviate the problem, if indeed there is one.”
Senior teachers from the school will be meeting with staff at the store tomorrow (Thursday) in a bid to resolve the matter.