RE­FLEC­TIONS OF A RED­BRIDGE SCHOOL ‘BAD BOY’

The Jewish Chronicle - - Special Report -

JOHN’S prob­lems started al­most from his first day at the King Solomon High in Red­bridge. “I had a dis­agree­ment with the then head teacher, who as­sumed food that I brought into the school wasn’t kosher.”

He says the school’s dis­ci­plinary pro­ce­dures were chaotic. “We had ‘or­der marks’ — three in a week or six in a month and you got a de­ten­tion.

“Kids were smart enough to re­alise that if you lose the sheet with the or­der marks on, noth­ing would hap­pen.

“I left the school for a time and re­joined a few months late for sixth form. I took on quite a dif­fi­cult com­puter course, but in three days man­aged to catch up with the other stu­dents. On what would have been my fourth day, a let­ter ar­rived at my house telling me not to re­turn to the school, be­cause I had per­formed an il­le­gal act of ‘hack­ing’. Their idea of me ‘hack­ing’ their sys­tem was to open up a few fold­ers and add an icon [CD player] onto the desk­top.”

Now 21, John blames the school rather than him­self for his prob­lems. “They knew how hard I had it but still didn’t hes­i­tate to chuck me out. And that fact angers me to this very day.” CRAIG SIL­VER

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