A school in West Yorkshire has caused controversy after threatening to ban pupils from trips if their parents post negative comments on social media.

In a letter sent out to parents last week, Morley Academy said that “offensive and distressing comments” made by parents, carers or pupils will result in the “full withdrawal of privileges.”

The statement comes after some parents chose to criticise the academy of the school on Twitter and on a Facebook group.

In response to the letter, one anonymous parent said that the decision to remove children’s privileges was “worse than being in the North Korean army.” Another suggested that the move infringed on their “freedom of speech.”

Communication breakdown

Head teacher Leanne Griffiths stated that pupils were not being “punished” for comments made on social media, but would need to be excluded from any out of school activities until communication issues between parents and teachers improve.

She said: “We would deem that breakdown in rapport to represent a significant risk and we would not want to put the student, or any other student or ourselves, in a vulnerable position until we re-establish that rapport.”

She asked that parents and carers model responsible behaviour for the children in their care, adding that the academy is working closely with police to stop the “inaccurate and deeply offensive comments” being made on social media.

A statement released last Friday by Gorse Trust, which runs Morley Academy, said: “The Trust will not tolerate a position where personally insulting or threatening comments are made regarding any member of our community on social media.

“The police have fully supported us in this matter and have warned a number of individuals regarding their unacceptable conduct on social media.

“We are not seeking to punish any students; we are asking parents to contact us directly if they have any concerns they wish us to address as opposed to airing these on social media through the use of offensive and distressing comments.”

Do you think that the school is justified in its decision? Should the actions of parents affect children’s school privileges? Let us know what you think in the box below.

Sources: BBC News; Morley Observer/Samantha Archer