Disturbing video shows pupils running riot in Cornwall school protest
Disturbing new video from school at centre of riots over strict rules shows pupils causing chaos in corridors before police were called in
- Camborne Science and International Academy began the raucous protests
- Pupils were filmed chanting ‘school is s**t’ over the academy’s ‘prison’ rules
A disturbing new video of a ‘vile’ school protest in Cornwall shows pupils running riot in the corridors before police were called in – as a major report revealed post-Covid discipline has broken down.
Pupils at the Camborne Science and International Academy began the raucous protests on Wednesday in response to strict new rules at the school.
Children say they have been thrown out of lessons for being just two minutes late, while others have been forced into ‘reflection’ for minor infractions including yawning and having laddered tights.
A new video posted on Snapchat by pupils at the school has now unveiled the true extent of the disruption.
Previously, children have been shown chanting outside the school gates.
But the new footage shows them running riot through the corridors and shouting ‘school is s***’ while screaming and whooping.
A disturbing new video of a ‘vile’ school protest at Cambourne Science and International Academy in Cornwall shows pupils running riot in the corridors before police were called in
In one video, some pupils begin scaling the school gate to raucous cheers from their classmates
A new video posted on Snapchat by pupils at the school has now unveiled the true extent of the disruption
Another voice – presumably a teacher – can be heard shouting ‘Hey hey hey!’ as they try to get the pupils back under control.
In another video, some pupils begin scaling the school gate to raucous cheers from their classmates.
The rebellions follow a major report which found that discipline in schools has broken down ever since the coronavirus pandemic let parents believe school is ‘optional’.
The report found that children were being kept off school because they were ‘too anxious’ to go in, while other parents believe ‘life is too short’ for them to attend.
Lockdowns have caused a ‘seismic shift’ in parents’ attitudes to school attendance, according to the consultancy Public First, with it now ‘socially acceptable’ to keep pupils at home and go on holiday in term-time.
The research suggests that pandemic closures and teacher strikes have damaged the social contract between schools and families, with 24,700 children missing education on one sample day in spring this year.
One parent at Cambourne Academy wrote on Facebook to condemn the behaviour as ‘vile’, revealing she was worried about the ‘safety’ and education of the children at the school.
They said: ‘Vile behaviour. I’m so glad my kids knew better to have respect for themselves and the staff.
Students and parents launched a protest against ‘harsh’ rules at Camborne Academy in Cornwall
Pupils were filmed storming out the academy chanting ‘school is s***’ in protest against the rules
Videos show pupils gathered at the gates of Camborne Science and International Academy
‘I don’t want my children involved with children like this. I’m sorry if this offends anyone but how can the school teach our children if the parents are encouraging this behaviour.
‘Completely lost control and I fear for my kids’ education and feel for the teachers who have to go to work worried about their own safety.’
And even some students disapproved of their classmates’ actions, as one anonymous pupil at the school told Cornwall Live they did not believe the protests were a good idea.
They said: ‘I’m a year 11 at Camborne school. Today was a lot to say the least.
‘Students climbing over gates, running through corridors and running into classrooms and screaming and shouting, not to mention what was happening outside of school.
‘I’m not against the fact people want to protest and believe people should have a voice but when it’s putting people in danger and gets out of hand like it did today it really isn’t going to make a difference in school.’
Despite a local rumour, police confirmed that no teachers had been arrested following the protest.
The new study – which highlights findings from focus groups with parents – comes amid mounting concerns about the rise in children missing school in England.
Parents gathered outside the school as police attended the protest at Camborne Academy
Angry parents have slammed the ‘prison’ school’s strict new rules on toilet breaks and lateness, with one mother (pictured) saying her daughter has stopped drinking during the school day to avoid having to use the toilet
More than a fifth (22.3 per cent) of pupils in England were ‘persistently absent’ – meaning they missed at least 10 per cent of their school sessions – in the 2022/23 academic year, government figures show.
This is significantly higher than the pre-pandemic rate of 10.9 per cent in 2018/19.
The report blames the Covid pandemic and the time children spend away from in-person schooling for the breakdown in the relationship between families and teachers.
Cambourne headteacher Emma Haase told MailOnline that Facebook groups had fuelled miscommunications and inaccuracies which led to the disruption outside the school.
Headteacher Emma Haase (pictured) told MailOnline that Facebook groups had fuelled miscommunication and inaccuracies which led to the disruption outside the school
One mother said her child stopped drinking water during school hours, adding that there is ‘no way’ all pupils can use the toilets during break and lunch – as per the school’s rules.
She said there are not enough toilets for the 1,800 pupils, especially while the school is locking some of them and only allowing one child in at a time.
Pupils have to explain why they need to use the toilet if they go during lessons, and the mother said this could be difficult for them, particularly girls who are starting their periods.
She added that policies under the previous headteacher were ‘fair and consistent across the board’.
Another mother said children with special educational needs ‘don’t feel like they’ve got support’.
‘There’s been a few children that have asked for support, actively gone to their year office and said “I’m struggling, I don’t feel like I can go to class, I’m very anxious”, things like that, and they are being forced by teachers to go to class or go to reflection,’ she added.
A third mother added: ‘My daughter comes home crying every night, because she can’t cope with it.’
‘It’s definitely having a negative impact on their mental wellbeing,’ a fourth mother who was stood outside the school says.
Videos posted on TikTok showed dozens of students marching through Camborne Academy as parents gathered outside the gates in a protest which was reportedly organised over social media.
A caption on one video read: ‘POV your school had a protest bc of the school becoming a prison with gates locked everywhere.’
The mother of one pupil told the BBC her son was ‘crying because we had car trouble and it was literally breaking his heart as he was afraid about getting… suspended’ for being late.
Another mother complained the school’s rules are enforced on a blanket basis, with no distinction between minor infractions and more serious breaches of the rules.
‘It’s the way they’re being enforced, there is no distinction between being two minutes late to class, literally two minutes late, and throwing a chair,’ the mother said.
READ MORE: School protests grow: Parents hit out at ‘barbaric’ rule banning children from lessons all day if they arrive just one minute late for class at another secondary in Devon
Parents said students have been left feeling anxious by the school’s ‘military-style’ approach to bad behaviour and the ‘severe’ punishments being handed out, according to Cornwall Live.
They claimed children are now being given daily detentions for wearing trousers that were previously deemed appropriate and being reprimanded for taking their blazers off during the heatwave or failing to have a clear pencil case.
Parents also said children were punished for small infractions including yawning and for failure to pay enough attention in class.
In ‘reflection’, students are expected to copy lines out of textbooks for two entire lesson periods – without stopping for lunch, a glass of water, or a toilet break.
If students fail to complete the ‘reflection’ detentions they are then suspended, parents claim.
The protests come as parents have raised concerns the academy in Cornwall may join the controversial Athena Learning Trust, which is known for its strict rules and its use of ‘reflection’ to enforce them.
Headteacher Emma Haase said it is vital for the school’s wellbeing that behavioural incidents are kept to a minimum, as she urged concerned parents to contact the school directly.
She told MailOnline: ‘We can confirm that CSIA staff made the decision to call the police to our premises yesterday to help manage a difficult and disappointing incident at the school initiated by a small number of students and their parents who deliberately intended to disrupt the smooth running of the school day.
‘As always, our primary focus remains supporting the education, wellbeing and safety of our students and staff.
‘Sadly, staff have received abuse from parents and their children on a number of occasions and this behaviour cannot be tolerated.
‘We understand that there are strong feelings within the community and we are aware of a number of Facebook groups that have fuelled miscommunications and inaccuracies.
‘We would like to reiterate that there has been no changes to school rules that would warrant this type of disruption.
‘Our habits for life: punctuality, uniform, organisation, and disruption-free learning are fair, well-established and understood school rules.
‘Students know what is expected of them and it is the responsibility of parents, carers, students and the school to work together to ensure a good example is being set and that we are behaving appropriately as a community.’
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: ‘Officers were made aware of a protest at Camborne Science and International Academy involving pupils taking place on school grounds on Wednesday, September 20.
‘Local officers attended to speak with the school to give advice on ensuring that the protest remained safe. This is a school matter and there are no follow-up matters for the police in relation to this.’
Headteacher’s full statement:
Headteacher at Camborne Science and International Academy, Emma Haase said: ‘We can confirm that CSIA staff made the decision to call the police to our premises yesterday to help manage a difficult and disappointing incident at the school initiated by a small number of students and their parents who deliberately intended to disrupt the smooth running of the school day.
‘As always, our primary focus remains supporting the education, wellbeing and safety of our students and staff. Sadly, staff have received abuse from Parents and their children on a number of occasions and this behaviour cannot be tolerated.
‘We understand that there are strong feelings within the community and we are aware of a number of Facebook groups that have fuelled miscommunications and inaccuracies. We would like to reiterate that there has been no changes to school rules that would warrant this type of disruption.
‘Our Habits for life: punctuality, uniform, organisation, and disruption free learning are fair, well-established and understood school rules. All students know what is expected of them and it is the responsibility of parents, carers, students and the school to work together to ensure a good example is being set and that we are behaving appropriately as a community. Additional measures are in place to support the students in meeting the expectations such as free uniform to borrow, equipment available and additional bells to help students to be punctual. These measures have been communicated to students and their families.
‘Whilst yesterday was disappointing, I have every confidence that our community will pull together and move forward in a positive and constructive way. Today has been a normal, calm and productive school day.
‘We would actively discourage parents and media outlets against speculation and disruptive conversation and communications, and would instead encourage parents and carers to contact the academy directly through the usual channels to address concerns about both individual cases and wider policy. The senior team are already meeting with families to help resolve any misunderstandings and we urge Parents and Carers to contact the school if they have not done so already.
‘We would also like to state that regular operations continued today including lunch and afterschool clubs. We appreciate the support offered by the vast majority of our parents.’
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