Student Suspended For Clever Backpack Ban Protest
After students at Spalding Grammar School in Lincolnshire, UK were forbidden to use backpacks to carry their books, a curious protest began.
According to Lincolnshire Live and Spalding Today, seventeen-year-old Jacob Ford took it upon himself to protest this sudden rule change by using several unconventional items to carry his things to school, most notably a microwave, a wicker basket, a saucepan, sandwich bags, and part of a lawnmower.
Image: Triangle News
Image: Triangle News
Apparently the backpack ban is part of an effort to improve school "health and safety". Younger students and teachers are sometimes bumped and hit by the older kids' bulky bags. Ford doesn't doubt that this happens from time to time, but he suggests that an outright ban is taking things too far.
After a petition to lift the ban was taken down for giving the school a bad reputation, he expressed his frustrations in a 3300-word manifesto titled "Bags in Sixth Form - my thoughts and a potential solution", which he gave to headmaster Steven Wilkinson.
"I believe that paying for a new bag which fits the school's updated regulations is outrageous, especially this close to the start of the academic year, when many students have recently paid for new rucksacks, not knowing of the rule changes. These bags are effectively part our school uniform and should be purchased once a year at a maximum. So me or my parents having to fork out around £40 for a new bag which fits with the school's policies is outrageous." - Jacob Ford
As noble as it may seem, Ford's gotten in some hot water for his peaceful protest. Spalding Grammar School has slapped him with a two-day suspension and told him that his stunt ruins the credibility of the paper he wrote. At least he's not in trouble at home. Tracy Ford, Jacob Ford's mother, has already spoken out in support of her son.
"I think Jacob’s protest has been very peaceful and I believe he should have his say. At the end of the day, I believe in freedom of speech and so I’m very proud of him for standing up for something he believes in. Microwave or no microwave." - Tracy Ford
Mr. Wilkinson himself also spoke out publicly about Ford's protest. Obviously, he's less than amused.
"The facts that have been presented are far from the full picture. We have a student who has behaved in an increasingly inappropriate way, actions the likes of which I have never witnessed, and who has been sanctioned entirely in line with the school’s policies. What disappoints me most is the fact that, rather than working with us, the parent concerned has encouraged and is now seeking to glorify her son’s behaviour." - Steven Wilkinson
Somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed, eh? We're not sure whether to find it funny or sad that this Wilkinson fellow so perfectly fits the trope of strict, controlling, humorless headmaster. We know we said this in another article today, but if someone made a movie about this, we'd definitely give it a watch.
Since his story has gone viral, Ford has received a lot of support online. Who knows, maybe the school will come around. If not, this will at least be something to write about in college admissions essays.
Good luck Jacob! FMyLife is rooting for you!