Mother-of-three threatened by parent after ban from school over flavoured water row

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A Stoke-on-Trent woman was threatened by another parent outside of a primary school, following her ban from the premises over a row about flavoured water.

Bernadette Finnegan, 48, from Bucknall, is campaigning against the new healthy eating policy at Abbey Hulton Primary School, which she describes as ‘discrimination towards children who bring packed lunch to school’.

Talking about the incident, Ms Finnegan, said: “He was shooting threats at us while we were filming with The Sentinel.”

When asked how the school have reacted to the incident, she said: “I’m not sure what the outcome is but I believe he isn’t allowed to volunteer or shadow anything for the school.”

The mother-of-three has since had meetings with school leaders in a bid to resolve the matter, but no solutions have been made.

Teachers at the school where two of Bernadette’s children attend, have suggested to her that she should seek help from the governors.

She said: “It isn’t that easy to get an appointment with the governors and I haven’t seen the governors at all. The local media are involved and the local MP is involved as well.

“My kids are quite upset, with my son being recently diagnosed with Autism, he doesn’t understand what’s going on.

“The school have in no way shape or form come to me to tell me how he gets on at school everyday.”

Kyla Lear, whose daughter also attends Abbey Hulton Primary School, said “My daughter was rather upset when they went in her bag looking for juice and telling her she would miss break if she drinks juice.

“When I questioned the school about going in her bag they said they haven’t, but other kids are saying they did.

“The Head Teacher also told me tipping juice away was voluntary, but this is also untrue as now they are making all kids have only milk and water.”

A spokesman for Abbey Hulton Primary School, said: “We met with Bernadette Finnegan today to listen to her concerns and offer her the chance to work with us – and other parents – in developing our school’s healthy eating initiatives.

“We’re keen to resolve this issue and hope that she will meet with us in the future to arrange this.

“In the meantime, we have been left with the difficult position of having to confirm her ban from the school, due to the language and behaviour that she has used and intimidation that has been felt by a member of staff and some parents.

“We hope that these issues can be worked through over the coming weeks.”

(Additional reporting by Yolanda Mapfurire)

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