Schoolgirl, 13, banned from wearing ‘large’ knitted poppy at strict Norfolk academy
PUBLISHED: 17:18 01 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:53 08 November 2018
A frustrated father has hit out at a controversial academy after his daughter was banned from wearing a knitted poppy in honour of Britain’s war dead.
Raymond Dougal said he was “absolutely disgusted” by Great Yarmouth Charter Academy’s ruling that the symbol was “too large” and could not be worn by 13-year-old Courtney in the classroom.
The Year 9 pupil had worn the poppy with pride on Tuesday only to be told by principal Barry Smith to remove it because of its size.
The knitted poppy flower is 1cm larger than the paper version.
Mr Dougal, 69, of Palgrave Road, said: “I am absolutely disgusted that they have made her take the poppy off. It is a little bit on the larger side but that is what makes it.
“If it was huge and looked ridiculous I would not have sent her in it.
“As it is it looks lovely. She is only little so that probably makes it look bigger than it is.
He added: “I said to Courtney to just go in and wear it but she didn’t dare.”
Mr Dougal bought the poppy in his local pub The Sportsmans Arms in Northgate Street.
A lady there was knitting them, one of many across the borough getting their needles out to support Remembrance Day and the Royal British Legion Charity.
Pub landlord John Vale said the knitted poppies had already added close to £50 to the total raised in the pub this year.
He said he supported 100pc the turnaround work of Charter principal Barry Smith but said he had “overstepped the mark” this time, branding the ban “disrespectful.”
Charter defended the move.
A statement said: “Poppies are available in school and we encourage pupils and staff to wear them; unfortunately in this case we felt that the large knitted poppy was not appropriate to wear in school.
“We are keen that pupils recognise and respect the sacrifices made in war, and pupils are being encouraged to learn the poem In Flanders Field. Many will be taking part in the town’s Remembrance Day service on November 11.
“We are also refurbishing and relocating plaques commemorating former pupils of the Great Yarmouth Grammar School that served in battle, as a permanent reminder of that important heritage.”