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Mum charged by school after 10-year-old son breaks pencil

Mum charged by school after 10-year-old son breaks pencil

A mum-of-four was left shocked after she received a letter from her son's son asking her to pay 20p for a pencil he broke.

A mum was left shocked after she was charged by her son's primary school to replace a pencil they say the 10-year-old broke.

Louise Owen, 32, was handed a letter by her son Lennie-Lee from Lawn Primary School in Northfleet, Kent.

Year 6 student Lennie is diagnosed with ADHD and autism, so the school get extra funding specifically for him.

Louise claims the letter said her son had broken a pencil at school and that she would have to pay 20p to replace it.

The mum-of-four said: "When he first came in I said 'What have you done now, Lennie?' But he didn't have a clue and didn't even mention the pencil.

"The first thing he said to me was that he was kicking a football in the playground and the ball went over the fence, so he'd automatically thought this letter was about losing the ball.

"I couldn't believe what the letter said – I thought it was ridiculous."

The letter was written by Lennie class teacher Douglas Wilson, who said Louise's son had snapped the pencil on 2 November.

The controversial letter read: ""Unfortunately, your child broke a school pencil on November 2, 2022. This is school equipment which now needs to be replaced.

"Would you kindly pay the value of £0.20 to the school as soon as possible?"

The mum was told she must pay 20p to replace the broken pencil.

Louise has said she has no intention of paying the 20p due to the 'principle of it'.

She said: "“I know it sounds bad but I did think about it and it comes down to the principle of it.

"It would have cost them more to write the letter and I just can't get my head around it.

"It isn't even about the 20p, it's the fact they've given my son a letter to bring home saying they want it as soon as possible."

Instead of the fine, Louise believes that her son should have been given a ten-minute detention to help him understand what he had gone and to learn from it.

When she got in contact with the school, Louise claims she was told that multiple parents had received the same letter.

Since the original phone call, Louise has been waiting for the school to get back in contact with her.

She said: “I’ve not heard anything back from the school yet. I have phoned them, and I am still waiting for someone to call me back.

"It's been nearly a week since I phoned them.”

Louise says she is waiting on a response from the school.

Louise added: "I don't agree with what he did and I've sat him down and told him not to break things that don't belong to him, but the amount of pencils that probably get broken on a daily basis by kids, either purposefully or accidentally, must be loads.

"The thing is, Lennie has a pencil case full of pencils and pens but he's not allowed to take it in because of Covid.

"If he was constantly doing it then I could probably understand but it's not a reoccurring thing.

"What bothered me most is that my son was given a letter not knowing what it was about."

Tyla has contacted Lawn Primary School for comment.

Featured Image Credit: SWNS

Topics: Parenting