UK Mother Claim School Bans Daughter from Prom Because of Mental Disorder

Published July 2nd, 2018 - 03:00 GMT
(Shutterstock/File Photo)
(Shutterstock/File Photo)

A furious mother-of-five claims a secondary school banned her daughter from her leavers' prom 'because of her mental health'.

Laitha-Jayde Trimble, 16, took her GCSEs at St Edmund's Catholic School in Dover.

She was excited to go to the leavers' prom with her sister, Rhiall-Analise, but was then left devastated when she was told to give the ticket back, according to her mother Kelly Rodgers.

Miss Rodgers, 38, of Coombe Valley Road, claimed the school had punished her daughter for having a emotional dysregulation disorder (EDD) and social anxiety.

Those who suffer with EDD can have angry outbursts, aggression and behavioural problems.

After reportedly spending the most of her final year 'in and out of isolation', and being the alleged victim of a bullying incident at school, it is claimed the teenager was put on early study leave.

Although Laitha-Jayde was banned from the prom her sister Rhiall was allowed to go.

Although Laitha-Jayde was banned from the prom her sister Rhiall was allowed to go.

The school said that a pupils' 'conduct through the examination season' is a factor considered when allowing them to the Year 11 prom.

It is also understood that a child being put on early study leave means they cannot attend prom.

St Edmund's head teacher Mike Wilson said: 'In order to safeguard our pupils, we do not discuss their individual issues with anyone other than their legal guardian.

'However, I would like to make it clear that St Edmund's Catholic School does not, nor would it ever, discriminate against a student on any grounds, including mental health.

'In a case where a student is prevented from attending an event, such as the school prom, a variety of factors are taken into consideration, including their conduct during the year, and during examination season, as well as any safeguarding concerns.

'It is not a decision we take lightly and we always follow school policy when making such a decision and fully inform the pupil and their parents or guardians of the reasons behind the decision.'

'When the school put her in isolation for months of time, it doesn't help at all,' she said.

'The nurse said this was detrimental to her health and wellbeing and my poor daughter did about nine months in isolation on and off.'

She said Laitha had already bought her dress and booked a hair stylist before she was snubbed by the school with just a fortnight's notice.

 

 

'They (the school) basically said to me we do not know what to do with your daughter.

'They just stick her in a room by herself. She even asked if she could have lunch with someone else on her birthday but they would not allow it.

'School policy is if you're on early study leave, you can't go to prom.' 

But Miss Rodgers alleges the other pupils caught up in the alleged bullying were not punished.

'Laitha put a post-it note up saying she was going to harm herself but she didn't intend to, she was just sick of the school not listening to her,' she added.

'She got put on early study leave but was told this doesn't affect your prom, we just want to keep you safe.

'We bought her tickets and everything. Two weeks later we got a call saying Laitha could not attend and there has been a mix up.

'They said she is vulnerable and they were worried she will harm herself or others.'

The 'cruel' mix-up has led Miss Rodgers to call for change in a bid to protect other youngsters who also suffer from mental health problems to feel 'isolated.' 

Miss Rodgers also claimed her daughter was barred from after-school revision clubs.

'She wasn't allowed to go into school on the last day, so she doesn't have those lifelong memories,' she added.

'What more can I do as a parent? We have done everything they have asked us to do.

'We fear it was having an effect on her GCSEs. She wasn't allowed to attend the after school revision classes. The only thing they ever sent her is the exam timetable.'

'Laitha was heartbroken,' her mum continued.

'She kept saying 'I'm okay mum'. She went and got her hair done because she had it booked and her boyfriend took her out while her sister got ready.

'On the Saturday, she broke down and cried. She was looking at all the pictures.

'It's just devastating - every girl should go to the ball.'

The mum-of-five put the picture of Laitha dressed up for prom on Facebook with the caption: 'This is my beautiful daughter Laitha- Jayde who should be attending her leavers prom tonight but due to her mental health St Edmund's has banned her from attending. Punished for being unwell, disgusting.'

This post has since been shared 882 times with more than 1,000 reactions. 

Since it has gone viral, it caught the attention of Lewis Hine, a disabled teenager who organises proms for children who can't go to their own through disability.

'He organises these proms for children who can't attend their own,' she explained.

'Laitha will go to the Belfry in Birmingham and get all made up for the event at the hotel and spa.

'Someone else set up a JustGiving page and Laitha said she would invite everyone to her very own prom, even the girls who were bullying her.

'I didn't expect it to go so mad. I just put it up to get our story out there. When I found out the amount of people who are going through the same thing I felt awful.

'I had people messaging me saying it broke their heart and brought a tear to their eye.'

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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