Five Incidents that didn’t Result In A Permanent Exclusion

January 31, 2007

It’s pretty hard to get kicked out of school these days. Here are some incidents that didn’t make the grade, even where considerations of safety and justice were calling out for it.

  1. Leon Greyson rarely attended Woodrow Wilson School, even in year 8 he popped in no more than once a month, assaulted a teacher or two and ran off. One day he came in and started telling the white boys in his form that it was time to get “the Pakis”. That lunchtime he and his friends went round assaulting any Asian pupils in the year group, until they started ganging up together and fighting back. Gary, the Headteacher, was so shocked at what had happened that he got the whole of Year 8 to go to a special assembly in the hall.
    “This is completely unacceptable. We will not have this kind of racism happening in this school. Leon Grayson will not be back in school for a very long time”, he told the assembled students. Leon was excluded for a week and a half.
  2. Also at Woodrow Wilson School, Tommy in year 7 was discovered to have brought in a knife. Other students found out about this and reported it. He was sent home for the day and told that bringing a weapon into school was incredibly serious and if he ever did it again he would be kicked out. A month or two later he brought an airgun in. He was sent home for the day and told that bringing a weapon into school was incredibly serious and if he ever did it again he would be kicked out.
  3. Another racially motivated incident occurred in Year 11. Raj, an Asian boy with a long history of getting into trouble, managed to get into conflict with a white boy, apparently over nothing more than his skin colour.. He dealt with it by picking up the nearest blunt instrument and bludgeoning the boy around the head. The other boy ended up in casualty with serious head injuries. The overwhelming majority of children in his year group were outraged. Raj was sent home. He looked like being the first permanent exclusion in the school for a very long time. A few weeks later he was allowed to come back.
  4. At Stafford Green School, James Black was a special case. He’d been in very few lessons since the start of year 8. His habit of wondering to throw rocks at nearby buildings helped minimise his attendance.. One day, having been taken out of lessons he ran off from senior management and returned on a mini-bike and rode it (illegally, of course) all around the school site. I don’t think they bothered with any type of exclusion. It’s not as if he was going to attend school twice in one week.
  5. At the Metroplitan School, Lemuel was one of those tiny year 9s who was always getting into fights with any student small enough to feel threatened by him. The new year 7’s must have seemed like a dream come true. His victim, Les, was quiet and a convenient target. Lemuel pushed him down the stairs, splitting his face open. Les ended up in casualty having stitches. After that he never came to school regularly again. He was constantly absent, or walking out of school complaining he was scared of the other children. He had no previous history of truancy. His educational chances may well have been ruined, only time will tell. Lemuel on the other hand is still in attendance.

I’m sure other people have worse tales. I await the responses.

Discussion of this entry has now appeared on INFET and a particularly long and informative discussion took place on TES. This entry was also among those featured in a blog carnival.


  1. Sammy, 15 years old, having spent most of his first three years in secondary education in the behaviour base due to his habit of throwing things (punches or chairs) when he made it as far as class.
    Once he started S4, it was decided to put him back in class so he could sit his exams.
    In protest, he assaulted his personal TA, sexually assaulted a girl in the class and spat on the HT.
    The school requested a permanent exclusion but were refused by the LA on the grounds that he was not a serious danger to staff and pupils.

  2. We were discussing the fact that locally, a fortune is spent on alternatives to the expensive and seemingly forbidden exclusions, and it is ‘learning centres’ or other misnomers.
    The miscreants attend for a half day a week or so in jeans and smoke and such like, at a hugely inflated cost, purely to keep them out of our hair and not officially excluded, thus preserving our stats.

  3. I have commented at length elsewhere on the breathtaking decision to keep a boy found guilty of rape before (yes, before) he started High School, and who in his first year there committed three separate sexual assaults on three different girls, the violence and daringness of which increased with each attack.

    It was felt by his expensive team of apologists that he was “finally starting to own” the wrongness of what he did (but kept on doing) and that his therapy was “really going somewhere”, and that to remove him to a secure unit would not solve anything because he was quite prepared to rape boys as well as girls. The girls would not testify in court (the third girl was so traumatised she left the school) and the opinion of the school copper, the HT and me as to the right to safety of the other pupils was not worth shit compared to the tunnel vision of the youth workers, key workers, young offenders liaison, SSEST, therapist, psychiatrist, social worker and sexual health link person.

    He was eventually permanently excluded in Y9 for something completely unconnected.

  4. A pupil brought a long bladed knife into school. Clearly under the influence of drugs, he waved the weapon around and announced he intended to “stab as many people as he could”. He was eventually removed from the site by police. Head sought permanent exclusion but LEA refused to support it as “he didn’t actually stab anyone … if we exclude everyone who brings a knife into school, the schools would be empty!”

  5. Some of the things made my blood boil, sadly whilst there are bad teachers, there are bad kids, no such thing as bad schools just bad kids.

    It appears that the school disciplinary system is rotten upwards from the school, if we are talking LEA etc.

    Similar with the police who do a good job, only for the CPS / Justice system to let them get away with a soft sentence.

    Quite simply, a borstal system needs to return, sod human rights, if a criminal / bad pupil violates their victims human rights by attacking them, they forego their personal human rights.

  6. I teach in California. Last year, a student brought a BB gun to school. It was either before or after school, so there weren’t too many kids around, but some. Anyway, he shot it and hit a girl in the eye. His consequence? Merely a suspension.

    I guess since it happened a few minutes before or after school, it didn’t warrant a suspension.

  7. A boy from my form, when he was in Year 11, asked to go to the toilet during form. Me and my co-form teacher allowed him to go. I did notice he was gone awhile, but didn’t think much of it. Later that day it was revealed that he, along with a number of other boys, had defecated all over the floor in the boys toilet, mixing it with urine and soap and water. On a hot day, the stench was horribly by lunchtime. The ring leaders, and he was one of them, were known by lunchtime. Instead of an appropriate punishment, like having them clean it up after school, they were isolated for the next day. Suggestions made by myself and the form teacher were an out of school suspension, compulsory community service and exclusion from the Year 12 ball the following year. That was seen as far too harsh.

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