Monday, 24 September 2012

Friends of schoolboy, 14, who died from cancer are banned from the classroom for wearing wristbands in his memory

Wristbands were sold at the school with all proceeds donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust charity
But pupils have now been ordered to take them off because they are 'not part of the uniform'
One close friend of the boy who died was sent home for refusing to take his off

Friends of a 14-year-old boy who died after a long battle with cancer are being sent home from school for refusing to remove wristbands worn in his memory.

Jordan Cobby, from Nuneaton, was diagnosed with a tumour behind his eye in 2008 and died aged 14 last March

Tribute wristbands in memory of Jordan were sold at his school, the Nuneaton Academy, following his death, with all proceeds donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust charity.

Friends of the teenager bought the bands and have worn them ever since, but now the school has banned pupils from wearing them, saying they are not part of the uniform, his mother Joanne Meuse said.

One pupil, a close friend of Jordan’s, has even been sent home for refusing to remove the wristband.

While the school has offered a compromise, saying it will pay for a cover, designed by the pupils, for their planners in memory of Jordan, Mrs Meuse said the wristbands have sentimental value.

The 45-year-old, from Nuneaton, said: 'Jordan was a former pupil of the Nuneaton Academy and was, still is, a much-loved and valued friend of these students.

'When he passed away in March 2011 from cancer, I and my family found a great deal of comfort from the many thoughts and actions of these young people. They showed great compassion and a maturity far beyond their years.

'They are a credit to the Nuneaton Academy. They gave and continue to do so, a sincere commitment to fundraising for the Teenage Cancer Trust and I believe the positive feeling this created has helped them to deal with their grief.

'All of them should be congratulated for having such strong and caring values. The Nuneaton Academy should recognise this, encourage and be very proud of them.'

Mrs Meuse said the school had been happy for the children to wear the bands for the last 18 months and it was only in the last few weeks she had heard of pupils being told to remove them or face disciplinary action.

She added: 'The bands do not affect their learning but it is their way of showing respect and keeping a part of Jordan with them.

A quote from one of Jordan’s friends was ‘I write with my right hand and my band is on my left, when I am struggling or going through a tough time, I just look at my band and remember what a brave hero Jordan was and all that he went through’.'

The school principal, Helen McEvoy, told her last week that she was unaware the pupils had been wearing the bands.

'If that is the case, then it proves the point that the bands are unobtrusive and not distracting in any way', Mrs Meuse said.

She added: 'I am very angry and shocked but even more so heartbroken for the students, that after all these months have passed, they are now being asked or rather told to remove their bands by Mrs McEvoy, which I believe is bad judgment and leadership. What is this teaching the students?'

Zoe Ashby, whose son Harris was a friend of Jordan’s, said she was disgusted when the school rang to say her son was being sent home for refusing to take off his wristband.

Ms Ashby said: 'I don’t think the headteacher realises how much Jordan’s death affected them. The bands have sentimental value and mean so much to the kids.

'My son Harris played football with Jordan since they were seven and this morning I got a call from the school to say he was being sent home as he had refused to take the band off. It’s just ridiculous.'

Kay Southall, whose son Daniel was a close friend of Jordan’s and attends the academy, has launched a petition urging the school to rethink the wristband ban. Some 350 parents and children have already signed.

Mrs Southall said: 'The children aren’t being difficult. They went on a journey with Jordan from the time he was diagnosed and just want to keep him with them until June next year when they finish school, just as he would’ve been had he not been cruelly taken.

'I’m extremely proud of all the lads and girls that are making a stand for something they truly believe to be wrong.

'Their commitment to honouring Jordan’s memory and their support for Joanne and the rest of the family is humbling.

'I look forward to that phone call home, as do the rest of the parents because we fully support and admire the stance our kids are taking'

The full article can be read here,

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