Mum rages over “inappropriate” book choice for pupils after school closes in Covid-19 scare

A parent is fuming over “inappropriate” work given to her self-isolating child to complete whilst a school was closed for two weeks when a member of staff tested positive for Covid-19.

Pupils in Year 9 at The Marvell College in Hull were asked to study the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time during the break. But the angry mother – who did not wish to be named – said the script, by Mark Haddon, is full of profanities, including the word f*** and s***.

She claimed the language of sent the wrong message to young pupils, reports HullLive.

The mum said: “I’m just very concerned that at the age of 13 and 14 having language like what’s in this book I feel is inappropriate for that age group.

“My daughter said to me ‘if it’s OK to use this language in school work it must be OK to use it at home.’ She is sensible unlike some who are a lot younger minded than my daughter. I view it as teaching kids that this is fine.

“Where does the line draw? I have spoken to another parent whose child is the same age, but not at same school and she views it as highly inappropriate and would be mortified if her child received this as homework.”



Mum rages over "inappropriate" book choice for pupils after school closes in Covid-19 scare

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She remarked that the school should have consulted parents, before setting the work, adding: “I find it very bad for children of that age to receive this as homework. I would of thought something like this should of been put past parents first.

“My daughter knows this is wrong language for her age group and actually pointed it out, not all children her age would understand and can see some quite awkward conversations being raised.

“I’ve just been informed as well that the book is about a murder of a dog, there’s more issues.”

The book has previously been banned by some schools, but The Marvell College defended its use.

A spokesperson for the school said: “This is a book studied across the entire UK within school settings-indeed, the play script of the novel is from the AQA specification.

“The story is told from the point of view of a character with Asperger’s Syndrome who, at times, expresses his feelings and views on the world using language which illustrates his frustrations, fears, and innermost thoughts regarding the nuances of life.

“This book is taught within a safe and controlled environment at our school, where we embrace diversity and seek to expose students to a range of viewpoints and perspectives.

“It has won numerous awards, including The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize in 2003, it is acknowledged as a young adult’s book, which is why we do not teach it until Year 9.”

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