Schoolgirl excluded in row over black socks
A SCHOOLGIRL was excluded from a week of lessons for wearing black socks in the classroom.
Year 8 pupil Chelsea Whiteman was banned from Knole Academy, Sevenoaks, after refusing to stay in isolation for wearing the non-uniform footwear.
The 13-year-old's mother admitted her daughter can be "mouthy" but believes the school over-reacted.
Her daughter was confronted by Principal Mary Boyle on May 23 for wearing black socks instead of white, as she left school.
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She was then placed in isolation the next day.
Her mother Sabrina Whiteman, 32 of Lennard Road, Dunton Green, said: "Chelsea goes horse riding after school so she put her socks on just as she left school ready to put her wellies on in the car.
"Chelsea does stand up for herself, and because she was in correct uniform while in isolation she walked out, she was then excluded for a week.
"Exclusion is not the right punishment, Chelsea was probably enjoying her time off in the sun, so it isn't a deterrent. After-school detentions would work a lot better.
"Now she is just sat at home having a nice time while I'm out working.
"If she was kept after school she would miss out on going out with friends, swimming and things like that."
Due to her exclusion Chelsea was unable to take exams in French and dance.
"She really enjoys dance and does well in French, so it is a shame that she will miss the exams," said Miss Whiteman, who was set to meet with Mrs Boyle yesterday to discuss the incident and the action taken against her daughter.
She told the Chronicle: "A lot of what they do at Knole Academy is great, and they have a lot of good ideas and have improved a lot, but this is going to extremes.
"We even got a letter telling us what she can and can't do while being excluded, like not go out in a public place.
"So they don't want her in school but will tell her what to do when she's at home."
Principal Mary Boyle said: "We have high expectations of students and the rules of the academy are very clear to students and parents alike.
"Students are not excluded for wearing incorrect uniform, although they may be isolated from their peers.
"The academy does give short-term exclusions for defiance, failure to follow instructions and rudeness."