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Boy, 12, permanently excluded from school after he was caught with toy gun in McDonald’s

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Boy, 12, permanently excluded from school after he was caught with toy gun in McDonald’s

A mother of a 12-year-old boy who was excluded after taking a toy gun into McDonalds before school has slammed her son’s school as being ‘over the top’ and like an ‘army camp’ with their choice of punishment.

Self-employed cleaner Pauline Pollard, 53, from Birmingham, says her son Mitchell, 12, was the victim of ‘unfair treatment’ after he was kicked out of Christ Church Secondary Academy in Yardley Wood, Birmingham. 

The 12-year-old took his black and yellow toy gun to a local McDonald’s restaurant one morning before school, then passing it to a friend who fired at two other pupils.

Later that day, Mitchell was permanently excluded by Christ Church.

The toy gun was ‘no worse than a Nerf gun that you would buy in Smyth’s toy shop’, said Mitchell’s mother, who explained that it only fired small ‘pips’ as opposed to BB guns which shoot ball bearings.

But the Church of England academy, which first opened last September, maintained their stance during a hearing where the board of governors upheld the exclusion, claiming that Mitchell was ‘considered a danger’.

Pauline Pollard, 53, has slammed her son’s school, Christ Church Secondary Academy in Yardley Wood, Birmingham, who was excluded after taking a toy gun into a local McDonalds. Ms Pollard pictured with her excluded son, Mitchell, 12

‘We found quite early on that the school is quite harsh… While we appreciate that they are going to try and set a benchmark and a precedent for a brand new school, they are a little bit over the top in punishment,’ Ms Pollard said.

In the hearing, Ms Pollard said she also provided ‘impeccable references’ to defend her son and even got in contact with a worker at the McDonald’s restaurant to back up that he gave the toy to his friend.

She added that the gun, which was coloured black and gold, was handed over to police to investigate but found no grounds to do so.

The 53-year-old insists that an incident which happened a week earlier left Mitchell’s school record tainted in the eyes of his teachers.

His class was having a discussion where they all had to say what three items they would pick to have on a desert island with them.

Self-employed cleaner Pauline Pollard, 53, from Birmingham, says her son Mitchell, 12, was the victim of 'unfair treatment' after he was kicked out of Christ Church Secondary Academy in Yardley Wood, Birmingham (pictured)

Self-employed cleaner Pauline Pollard, 53, from Birmingham, says her son Mitchell, 12, was the victim of ‘unfair treatment’ after he was kicked out of Christ Church Secondary Academy in Yardley Wood, Birmingham (pictured)

Mitchell was said to have joked about taking a pair of scissors to ‘stab himself in the neck’ as he ‘did not want to be alone’. His mother claims that a teacher misheard this and believed Mitchell to be threatening his classmates.

She continued: ‘It’s not a BB gun and this is where my argument lay, a BB gun obviously shoots high velocity ball bearing [and] this shoots small plastic pips – It’s gold and black so it can be identified that it’s not a firearm. 

‘It is ultimately for the fact that it is entirely unfair for Mitchell. Is he going to be subject to a naughty boy’s school or what? At this moment in time, I don’t know. He is not being educated in any way. It’s a school not an army camp.’

Ms Pollard says she is now appealing the school’s decision.

Headteacher at Christ Church Secondary Academy, Mark Bowman Dalton, said of Mitchell’s exclusion: ‘Any exclusion is not made lightly and will follow the statutory guidance set by the Department for Education. Each case is treated fairly and will be reviewed by a panel of governors.

The 12-year-old took his black and yellow toy gun (pictured) to a local McDonald's restaurant one morning before school, then passing it to a friend who fired at two other pupils. Later that day, Mitchell was permanently excluded by Christ Church

The 12-year-old took his black and yellow toy gun (pictured) to a local McDonald’s restaurant one morning before school, then passing it to a friend who fired at two other pupils. Later that day, Mitchell was permanently excluded by Christ Church

‘Christ Church, Church of England Secondary Academy sets clear boundaries that encourage excellent behaviour and ensure the safety and well-being of everyone in the learning environment.’

West Yorkshire Police force said that the ‘soft’ air type of BB gun, which is toy like, might be slightly too powerful to be classed as a toy but also does not fit the definition of a section one firearm.

This is because it is often too low powered and likely designed to fire plastic or aluminium pellets.

They said that the firearms department of local police forces will be able to advise people in similar situations to Ms Pollard and her 12-year-old son. 

But the Church of England academy, which first opened last September, maintained their stance during a hearing where the board of governors upheld the exclusion, claiming that Mitchell (pictured with his mother Pauline) was 'considered a danger'

But the Church of England academy, which first opened last September, maintained their stance during a hearing where the board of governors upheld the exclusion, claiming that Mitchell (pictured with his mother Pauline) was ‘considered a danger’

The force said: ‘Given the nature of BB guns and their capabilities, it is not advisable to allow young children to be in possession of them.

‘Also be aware that many BB guns are extremely realistic and the police treat all reports involving weapons as if they are real live firearms.

‘Please note that all calls to police involving firearms are treated as if it is a genuine firearm so be aware that if you wave an imitation firearm around you could find yourself surrounded by firearms officers pointing real weapons at you.’

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