It was an innocent mistake, a careless mistake like so many other parents might have made. But the school’s treatment of Steven Doherty, 44, after his son Alfie, 13, was absent for two days, left him furious.
Causing his son to miss two days of school during the Easter holidays, Alfie’s father was given a penalty of 272 euros by the school. A sentence against which he immediately went to war.
A hypocritical decision
A pupil at St Ambrose Barlow RC Secondary School in Salford, Greater Manchester, England, Alfie, 13, had a noticeable absence for two days. Her dad, Steven, had booked an Easter vacation getaway not realizing the dates didn’t line up with the school dates. An innocent mistake that he nevertheless paid dearly for. Indeed, when his son returned, the school, not wanting to hear anything, fined him 272 euros. A position that the father considers “hypocritical”.
A fine for teachers
Father of five children, Steven does not understand how this error should penalize his son while the teachers go on strike, which, according to him, violates the same rules of attendance. Also, Steven chose to send an ironic email to the college, imposing “a fine” on Alfie’s two teachers, for an amount of 136 euros each. In his message, the father even included payment details and set the due date for February 14.
A very second degree email
Posted on Facebook, Steven’s post has been shared more than 800 times. Shared, users highlighted his “stroke of genius” for some, his lack of support for teachers for others. “I hope they will laugh a little with me, but I don’t know,” commented Steven to the Daily Mail newspaper. “It entertained me last night, I laughed while writing it” he added.
A lack of understanding
“Obviously I don’t expect them to pay me but it might make them understand my point of view and make them realize that they could have been more understanding,” he said. To date, the school has, of course, not responded to this message or made any public comment. However, a manager asked Steven to remove his post from Facebook, as it violated data protection rules.