Parents driven up the wall

PUBLISHED: 11:39 27 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:34 06 May 2010

Anita Higginbottom

Anita Higginbottom

PARENTS have voiced their concerns about the presence of police officers outside their children s school eclipsing its achievements. The headteacher of Hillshott Infant and Nursery School in Letchworth GC, Joanne Wilson, recently involved the police after

Andrew Fox and daughter Ruth

PARENTS have voiced their concerns about the presence of police officers outside their children's school eclipsing its achievements.

The headteacher of Hillshott Infant and Nursery School in Letchworth GC, Joanne Wilson, recently involved the police after various incidents outside the school.

Parents were congregating on and near a school wall and it was said that foul language was being used in front of children.

Speaking a fortnight ago Mrs Wilson said: "Our duty is to ensure that none of our pupils are exposed to violence or abusive language."

The wall outside the school where the parents congregate

Despite newsletters being sent to parents asking them to curb their language it continued and Mrs Wilson was forced to take extreme measures.

As Hillshott broke up for the summer, parents had their say on the problem blighting the school and many of them believe the row is overshadowing the achievements of the pupils and the school.

Andrew Fox, whose daughter Ruth goes to the school, said: "It's squabbling between parents. It's very disappointing as it's a very good school and that is what we should be reading about.

"They often sit on the wall. There is nothing wrong with that but if they have been swearing they shouldn't be. Then again one person's acceptability of language is not someone else's acceptability of language."

Another parent, who did not want to be named, said: "It's a real shame that this had to be brought up because it's a delightful school with a brilliant academic record.

"It's a community school where all the staff work hard and I've had four children go through it and it's a shame people have to read about these things.

"Swearing does go on. People should be more careful."

A parent who said she used to sit on the wall said her friends and her did not use bad language.

The parent, who did not want to be identified, said: "We were moved away from the wall ages ago and we stand on the grass now away from it.

"We don't swear in front of children, we never have done and we haven't threatened anyone. We're not being anti-social, we're not rebels."

Asked if the school had gone over the top, parent Anita Higginbottom said: "No, I don't think so. The school's thinking about the children's best interests and that is what's important here. It's all that matters.

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