Covid-fearing mum ‘threatened with court’ after taking daughter out of school

A "terrified" mum has reportedly been threatened with a court appearance after she removed her daughter from class due to coronavirus.

Jennie O'Neill, 32, does not believe her daughter's school, Kingswood Academy, is safe from Covid-19 and pulled the 12-year-old out of class after she was sent to detention with other pupils who are not in her Year Seven bubble.

Miss O'Neill claims a teacher accused her of depriving her daughter Olivia of "an education" in a phone row where she was also threatened with court action.

She told HullLive her daughter had "started panicking" after she was in "detention with three other year groups".

Jennie said: "I took her out on Monday, simply because the week before my daughter had brought it up to me that she didn’t feel safe.

"She’s not one to panic but she started panicking as she was in detention with three other year groups.

"The school rang me up, spouting off loads of stuff. They said they were in the same room, but because it's huge they do not go near each other, and socially distance. I don’t know the exact rules but I don’t think they should even be in the same area."

During the tense phone call, the school said they would like Olivia to be in their care from 7.30am to 3pm every weekday and Jennie says she has been "bombarded" with visits from an "attendance officer" ever since.

She said: "I said on Friday: 'I do not want to send her back to school, I don’t think you’re protecting her, you chuck them all out at 3pm so they all leave together and they all arrive together, it's mixing bubbles.'

"They said they would like Olivia back. They said by law Olivia should be in their care from 7.30am until 3pm every day, and because she’s not, I’m depriving her of an education, even though I've done nothing but ask for work.

"She was being very forceful and speaking to me like I was stupid, told me I’m depriving my child of an education even though I asked her if my daughter could have work sent daily and they’ve refused totally."

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A member of staff also allegedly told Jennie she will be fined and could even face prosecution if Olivia does not return to school.

She said: "She repeated herself that there will be fines, possibly prosecution. I said 'what do you mean?' and she said 'you will end up in court'.

"I said 'well since as we're in Hull, with the highest rates of coronavirus with lots of parents doing the same thing, that will be a lot of paperwork for the court won't it?

"The attendance officer turns up at your house every day.

"I knew the school did that in normal circumstances, but I didn't think they would after telling them that we want to isolate and don’t want to be bothered. He didn't even have a mask on."

Jennie said she has been made to "feel bad" for protecting her child and fears the virus could even be passed along to her down syndrome brother.

She added: "And when I said we don't want people at our door. We don't leave the house. She said 'well how do you get your shopping?'. I said 'delivered by Asda every week, not that it's any of your business'.

"I've never felt so bad for trying to protect my child.

"I said what if Covid gets passed to my down syndrome brother and he ends up with it and passes away? You still gonna tell me the school's safe?"

The Daily Star has approached Kingswood Academy for comment.

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