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16-year-old who was forced to shave banned from school prom

CONTROVERSY: St Thomas More school, Eltham

THE FAMILY of a boy with learning difficulties who was forced to shave and then banned from attending his school’s prom is demanding its principal be dismissed.

The parents of Kyle Gordon, 16, want to see Markus Ryan removed from St. Thomas More Catholic Comprehensive, in Eltham, south-east London.

The Gordon family have alleged that Ryan has waged a vendetta against them.

The trouble started in May 2017 when Kyle attended school with what his father describes as ‘five strands’ of facial hair.

The youngster who has an educational health care plan from the local authority, was forced to shave for the first time, causing considerable bleeding.

Kyle’s father, Allan Gordon, reciting the incident said: “My son was intimidated by this man (Ryan), marched out of class and forced to shave cutting his skin and bleeding in the process.

“The saga involving the end of year prom wasn’t about Kyle’s facial growth, but his mum, who complained to Greenwich’s chief executive.”

Following an investigation by the director of Children’s Services in July 2017, the Gordon family received a letter from Florence Kroll, which read: “There is evidence to confirm that a professional has behaved in a way that was inappropriate, it caused immense emotional distress to your son and the child was physically harmed as a result albeit minor.’

CAMPAIGN: Kyle (far right) with his dad Allan and older brother Callum

The school was asked not to force pupils to shave in the future. A year on from the investigation, Ryan has not apologised to the Gordon family, despite being asked to do so by the director of Children’s Services.

Furthermore, Kyle’s mother, Fatima, was banned from entering St. Thomas More from mid-2017. She was also asked to leave a crucial meeting with sixth form careers advisors recently, despite being invited to attend.

The family from New Eltham believe the headteacher’s most recent decision to prevent Kyle from celebrating the school prom on July the 6th, because of his failure to participate in ‘extra-curricular activities’ is scandalous.

Allan Gordon said: “Kyle is a very sensitive boy and he has been distraught after not being allowed to celebrate the prom with his friends. He has lost confidence in the educational system.

|My family and locals want Mr Ryan removed from the School, before he destroys children and their families.”

The Greenwich Inclusion Project, which examines institutional cases of racism, is examining the Gordon family’s complaints.

Gilles Cabon, director at the Project, has received eight complaints against St. Thomas More School during the last two and a half years.

Speaking to The Voice he said: “The organisation I work for has received a significant number of complaints from parents at this school, on educational and exclusion issues.”
If it is proved that Kyle has experienced victimisation under the Equality Act the headteacher and board of governors at St. Thomas More could be taken to court and the Gordon family may receive financial compensation.

Over 1800 people signed a petition calling for Mr Ryan’s decision, preventing Kyle from attending the prom, to be reversed.

The Voice contacted Markus Ryan at St Thomas More school several times for a comment but we have not received a response.

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