UK school separates 'rich from the poor'

Football kids
Some parents started a petition, whilst others threatened the principal. Photo credit: Getty

Kids at a UK primary school were banned from playing with new playground sports equipment if their parents didn't pitch in to help pay for it.

Wednesbury Oak Academy, a charter school in West Midlands, asked parents to chip in £6 each to help pay for the "fun time lunchtime" gear, available for kids to use during breaks. The children of those who didn't were banned from playing with it, local media said.

"They are separating the rich from the poor," one mother told the Daily Star.

The Guardian reports while some parents launched a petition against the ruling, others resorted to death threats. The school, located in a low-income neighbourhood, has since relented.

"We have listened to the concerns raised and will be ending the scheme with immediate effect," a spokeswoman said in a statement. "We are a school that believes in putting our children at the heart of everything we do."

Parents and pupils had no idea those who didn't pay wouldn't be allowed to use the equipment. The money was collected last year, but when school resumed after the Christmas break, segregation was in place.

"Parents have behaved in a highly threatening manner on Facebook, telling me I need 'a good slapping'," principal Maria Bull told the Daily Mirror.

"Schools get an awful lot of bad press for doing things that benefit the children. We are asking for just £6 a year."

An online petition was signed by more than 1600 people.

Despite folding to parental pressure, Ms Bull defended the decision to segregate.

"I wouldn't ask parents to pay for another child's after-school club... This is cyberbulling of a school."


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