Diabetic pupil suspended from Queen's School

PUBLISHED: 11:06 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 19:49 01 June 2010

Oliver Lake

Oliver Lake

PARENTS of a pupil suspended for three weeks by the Queen s School criticised the new head s action and claim their son has been unfairly singled out. However executive head Tony Cooper insists he was right to suspend 12-year-old Oliver Lake for verbal ab

PARENTS of a pupil suspended for three weeks by the Queen's School criticised the new head's action and claim their son has been unfairly singled out.

However executive head Tony Cooper insists he was right to suspend 12-year-old Oliver Lake for verbal abuse.

"He has been verbally abusive to a member of staff, and would not co-operate," said Mr Cooper. "I have taken a very firm line on that. I am not going to tolerate a member of staff being sworn at."

Oliver, a diabetic from Ardleigh Close, Walsoken, said the problems arose after he tried to get food following a PE lesson to keep his sugar levels safe, but found the canteen had closed temporarily after a disturbance.

Trouble flared on Friday morning when a group of students tried to push their way into the canteen. A member of staff took the decision to close the canteen to send the students away for a while - but some 50 students, of which Oliver was one, protested outside.

Oliver's father, Jim, said: "He does get nasty when his sugar level gets low, but it is because of his illness. This could have been avoided if they had just given him some food - he would have been all right."

And mother Julie added: "Oliver said to me on the phone they would not let him have any food, that he was hungry and felt poorly, so we went to the school and his sugar level was only two - which was really dangerous.

"The school has got a medical kit containing biscuits, glucose sweets and a sugar count machine - and they did not give him anything."

But Mr Cooper said: "He was offered food but refused it. We were aware that, having closed the canteen, people who were diabetic would need food.

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