Girl who was 'treated like a dog' over £100 Vivienne Westwood shoes refuses to return to school
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A young girl who was 'treated like a dog' over a pair of £100 Vivienne Westwood shoes will not be heading back to school anytime soon.
Students attended Grace College in Gateshead on Tuesday (5 September), for the start of their new school year, but Layla Thomson, 11, was quickly set home for her choice of shoes.
Melissa Pope, Layla's mum, has since slammed the school and labelled their rules over school shoes as 'ridiculous'.
The mum claims that the alleged incident shook her young daughter up so badly that she is now refusing to send her back to the school.
The 37-year-old has claimed the school subjected the new year seven pupil to sitting on a hard wooden floor for four hours without being allowed to use the toilet or have a drink.
The claims have angered many parents who criticised the school for sending pupils with branded shoes home.
Melissa went on to say that the school forced Layla to wait until last to grab lunch while she was forced to write out the school rules.
She said: "She was very upset yesterday. It was a horrible experience for her, it was just awful. They made her sit on a hard wooden floor for hours. She wasn't allowed to go to the toilet and she wasn't allowed a drink.
"There were 41 other people and basically she wasn't allowed to leave. They made her write down rules saying why it was her fault she was in isolation - because she hadn't followed the rules. She had to watch the year nine (pupils) have their lunch - they had to go last.
"She was only allowed a pudding or a drink, she couldn't have both - even though I gave her the money for her school lunch. She got her lunch and pudding and realised she wasn't allowed to have a drink. She was treated like a dog and that's not acceptable."
Melissa claims the school told her daughter that the shoes were not suitable due to health and safety reasons as the slip-on shoes did not cover the top of the foot.
Layla spent most of Tuesday in isolation, informing her grandmother at home time she didn't want to return to the school.
"She was wearing them for the last two years of primary school and she didn't have any problems. I think it's just a power thing. It's a school, it's not a camp," Melissa said.
"I'm going to try and get her transferred to a different school."
In a statement released by Grace College, they said: "Our students and staff are enjoying a productive first week back at college and integrating into school life as we would expect. However, at the beginning of the new term there may be a small number of issues to address in any school.
"We reiterate the importance of applying our rules consistently on issues like uniform, not least for the vast majority of families who have sent children to school properly attired this week, and to ensure that all students feel welcome, safe and free from any pressures.
"When students need to put a uniform issue right, they are given an opportunity to do so. We have a supply of high quality new and nearly new uniform in college that we can share with students to support them to put this right.
"When it is not possible to put things right, we always contact parents to seek their support in doing so.
"The college maintains a policy of not commenting on individual cases publicly, dealing with these in line with their complaints policy where issues can be dealt with fairly and with appropriate privacy."