Dad banned from school for '˜swear slogan' T-shirt

A man who wore a T-shirt with a swear word slogan on it at his children's school sports day has been banned from its premises.

Thursday, 11th August 2016, 10:19 am
Updated Thursday, 11th August 2016, 11:24 am
Craig McBeth has been banned from Colne Park Primary school premises and has resigned as a school governor after wearing a Red Dwarf T-shirt with an offensive slogan

Craig McBeth, whose son and daughter attend Park Primary School in Colne, wore a red Dwarf T-shirt with phrase printed on it at the sports day in July.

Mr McBeth (36), who was a governor at the school at the time before his resignation, was lining up for the father’s race when the T-shirt was spotted by a member of staff.

He says he apologised straight away and turned the T-shirt inside out so the phrase was no longer visible and thought that was the end of the matter.

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However, he subsequently received a phone call telling him he was banned from the school and then a letter from Lancashire County Council’s solicitor confirming the ban, adding that the prohibition would last until further notice.

If he attempts to enter the school, he risks a £500 fine for trespassing.

The letter stated that the T-shirt had a “slogan containing extremely foul and offensive language”, and given Mr McBeth’s role as a governor, it could have “potentially brought the school into disrepute”.

It added: “Such behaviour on your part is wholly unacceptable and will not be tolerated by the school or the Local Education Authority.”

On the final day of term, Mr McBeth said he was going to go and pick his children up, but 15 minutes after the early finish at 2pm, he received a call from social services asking why he had not been to the school. Then the police phoned him and he had to explain to both parties the situation.

Mr McBeth, a single parent who lives in Trawden, feels that the school has over-reacted and that wearing the T-shirt on sports day was an oversight.

He said: “I have been excessively and unfairly punished by my children’s school for accidentally wearing a T-shirt which could have offended some people.

“I apologised immediately, but the next day I received a phone call telling me I was barred from school premises and that I couldn’t pick my own children up.

“I think it’s a gross overreaction and disproportionate to one isolated incident. I think it’s unjustifiable.”

Sarah Midgley, Headteacher at Park Primary School, said: “I can confirm that Mr McBeth has resigned and is no longer a governor at our school.

“This matter is now closed and I’m looking forward to getting back to normal school life in September.”

However, Mr McBeth said: “No, the case is definitely not closed.

“I am still banned and unable to collect my children, and I am the only person who can do so. I have received no communication from the school since my resignation.”

It is unclear why Mr McBeth remains banned from the school having resigned from his position on the board of governors.

Leader Times Newspapers approached Lancashire County Council about the matter but a spokesman said it does not wish to comment further.