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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2007, 16:02 GMT
Boy's detention after apple snack
anonymous pupils
Children are not allowed to eat outside
A head teacher who disciplined a teenager for eating an apple in the school grounds has defended his action.

Sixteen-year-old Tom Bosley was caught eating the apple on the tennis courts of his school, The Kings of Wessex in Cheddar, Somerset.

The school says food can only be eaten in "designated eating areas" - the dining hall or the gym.

The pupil came close to being expelled over the incident after refusing to take his punishment, a detention.

'Minor incident'

He complained to reporters: "The punishments are way too harsh. It just shows you the abuse of power within the school."

But the head teacher of the high-performing Church of England school, Chris Richardson, said the teenager and his parents had escalated a "relatively minor disciplinary incident" by refusing to accept the pupil's punishment.

"A Year 11 student was caught by a member of staff eating outside a designated area and, in line with our school policy, was placed in a half-hour lunchtime detention," he said.

"For health and safety reasons students are only allowed to eat in designated areas. All students are aware of this rule and the consequences of not adhering to it."

He said Tom had failed to attend a 30-minute detention and then refused to attend an after-school detention.

The pupil was then sent to a supervised learning unit for a day. Tom complained he had missed a whole day of lessons because of the row.

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