East London headteacher bans students from touching snow

A 'duty of care issue'

Chelsea Ritschel
in New York
Tuesday 27 February 2018 19:45 GMT
Headteacher Ges Smith defends idea that throwing snowballs should be banned

As snow continues to fall across Britain, multiple schools have implemented bans on snowball fights - but one headteacher has taken it a step further and banned students from touching snow altogether.

Headteacher Ges Smith is already being mocked for his decision to ban students from touching snow over what he claims are “health and safety” concerns.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Smith, from the Jo Richardson Community school in Dagenham, East London, attempted to defend his ban on snow - but the show’s hosts weren’t convinced.

Host Susanna Reid said: “Oh come on sir. It is just a bit of snow - let us throw a snowball.”

But Smith held his position, responding: “If it was that simple, I would let them throw snowballs all day long.

“The problem is, it only takes one student, one piece of grit, one stone in a snowball in an eye with an injury and we change our view.”

And according to Smith, as the school has a duty of care, “the rules are don’t touch the snow. If you don’t touch the snow you’re not going to throw it.”

The ban on snow also keeps children from getting their clothes wet - which would make them unprepared for school, according to Smith.

Host Piers Morgan was equally baffled by the headteacher’s stance as his co-hosts - and questioned whether the school would produce children “unprepared for normal life.”

However, people are arguing for both sides of the debate on social media.

Many have branded Ges Smith a “snowflake” for his stance - especially as some other schools show off "pupils versus staff" snowball fights.

One video, in particular, shows young students at Alleyn Court Prep School frolicking in the snow and pelting their teachers with snowballs.

Pupils take on staff in snowball fight at Alleyn Court Prep School

But others understand where the headmaster is coming from - and sympathise with his position.

As the person in charge of 1,500 students, Smith’s tough stance on snow ensures the school won’t be subject to a lawsuit related to a snow-related injury.

Hopefully, the snow will force the Jo Richardson Community School to close so Smith won't have to worry about the potential dangers snowballs pose to students.

As the snow continues, hundreds of schools across the country have closed.

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