Parents’ fury after school asks teenage pupils to vote in ‘completely inappropriate’ yearbook awards for ‘best bum’ and most ‘flirty’
- Parents criticised Highfields School, Derbyshire, for their inappropriate awards
- Mother-of-three Jane Gretton, 52, complained the awards sexualise children
- The school has now suspended nominations for the yearbook until further notice
Worried parents have criticised a school after teenage students were asked to vote for their peers in a number of inappropriate awards such as ‘best bum’ and ‘most flirty’.
Schoolchildren in their final year at Highfields School, Derbyshire, aged 15 to 16, were encouraged to nominate who among their peers should be given the awards, deemed ‘disgusting’ by some parents.
The school also asked students to pick out students who may have a famous lookalike as well as who out of their class was most likely to be a top model or professional footballer.
Parents have slammed the voting forms, branding them ‘bullying’, and have called on the school to ditch the awards.
Mother-of-three Jane Gretton , 52, (Pictured middle left with children Allistar , 20, (left), Scarlett, 18, (middle right) and Bella, 15, (right) complained after seeing the categories daughter Bella was asked to vote in for her yearbook awards
The mother was among other worried parents who felt the yearbook awards at Highfields School in Derbyshire, were inappropriate. Some of the categories included ‘best bum’ and ‘flirtiest’
Some parents slammed the voting forms, branding them ‘bullying’, and called on the school to ditch the awards
Mother-of-three Jane Gretton, 52, whose youngest daughter, Bella, 15, attends the school, said: ‘The form was handed out a week ago and I knew nothing about it until I noticed it had been left on the chair at home.
‘It’s just another thing for children to be bullied by and children at that age are vulnerable enough, it encourages social hang-ups.
‘It’s a very American idea, based around sexism and popularity that is encouraged by fraternities and proms.
Pictured: Siblings Allistar Gretton ,20, (left) Bella Gretton, 15, (middle) and Scarlett Gretton, 18, (right)
‘Here in the UK we are a lot more inclusive of different people and this is completely the wrong message.
‘The awards are completely inappropriate and sexualise the children. It’s judging people on looks and comparing them to other which could effect them for the rest of their lives, as they grow older.’
Mrs Gretton said: ‘It’s just another thing for children to be bullied by and children at that age are vulnerable enough, it encourages social hang-ups’
Mrs Gretton’s two older children, 20-year-old Allistar and 18-year-old Scarlett, also attended the school but the mother, who owns her own antique centre, said she had only seen the nomination form for the first time on October 10.
Both Mrs Gretton and her husband Paul, 50, were outraged by the sheet, which students were asked to fill in before the votes were put forward to a panel.
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The mother claims the student panel, who are allegedly selected by their peers based on popularity, have the final say on who takes each award.
The couple sent an email to the school to raise the issue and were unaware that the awards had been in place for a number of years.
The mother-of-three and her husband Paul, 50, were outraged by the sheet and sent an email to the school to raise the issue. In his response headteacher Andrew Marsh said the yearbook will not go ahead with its current style
Mrs Gretton claims in a response, headteacher, Andrew Marsh, told her he was new to the school and was not aware of the yearbook nominations.
The mother said: ‘This is a message that should be shared across the UK so other school do the same and remove the awards.
‘We should be encouraging our children to be who they are, strong and independent.
‘My other children did so well at the school and in this situation the school has handled everything correctly when the issue was raised.
‘I just hope other schools follow suit.’
An email from the head teacher said that ‘being new to the school’, he was unaware of the yearbook format and that the book would ‘not go ahead in its current format’.
In a statement, posted on the school’s Twitter account, a spokesperson said: ‘To Year 11 parents and students – We are aware of the issue with our Yearbook nominations and any planning around the Yearbook has been suspended until further notice.
‘We apologise for any inconvenience.’
Highfields School have now suspended nominations for the yearbook until further notice.
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