Pupils upset over school uniform rules which ban them from wearing charity badges (From The Northern Echo)
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Pupils upset over school uniform rules which ban them from wearing charity badges
OUTRAGED youngsters have criticised their school for banning charity pins on uniforms.
Pupils at Whitworth Park School and Sixth Form College, in Spennymoor, County Durham, went to school last week wearing Marie Curie Cancer Care daffodils.
But teachers told them that the school's uniform policy banned all adornments, even charity brooches, and they ordered them to remove them.
Several pupils contacted The Northern Echo to express their anger at not being able to support the cancer charity in what they feel is the most powerful and visible way they can.
Simon Tonge, 14, said: "We have respected our teachers for years, why cannot they respect our views about this?
"Fair enough if they were big badges with our favourite bands on but these are for charity and should be allowed.
"We want to help people with cancer and raise awareness, we're all affected by it through family and friends."
Delaney Wilsher, 15, added: "I've lost a nanna and grandad to it, for people to say 'take it off' and be so strict about the rules when we're trying to do something good is horrible and unfair."
Headteacher Paul Gillis said it is important that the school preserves the integrity of its new uniform, which was introduced in September when the school opened following the merger of Tudhoe Grange and Spennymoor Schools.
He said: "Our new uniform, with smart blazers, does not allow badges or anything on lapels.
"On coats, bags or somewhere discreet no problem but it is important the standards of our uniform is as high as possible, we don't want any damage caused or to encourage any badges to be on there."
Mr Gillis said parents of children who objected to the rule were supportive of the school and that teachers would meet the school council to resolve the issue without causing upset.
The school is very supportive of charities and each year raises about £2,000 for good causes each year, including Comic Relief for which it held a non-uniform day on Friday, he added.
Olivia Hodgson, 14, said: "It makes no sense that we can go to school in our own clothes for one charity and not wear a little flower for another on our blazer."
Simon added: "Our blazer is the most visible place we have to wear a charity badge, it has been very upsetting for some of our friends who have family fighting cancer now.
"We also want people to see we are young people with a social conscience."
A spokeswoman for Marie Curie said the charity did not want to comment on the school's policy but hopes people continue to support its daffodil fund and awareness raising campaign throughout March.