Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Thursday, 11 February 2010

Ban on Valentine's Day cards at school

Chocolate love hearts
The school told parents Valentine cards will be confiscated

A primary school in Weston-super-Mare has been criticised for banning Valentine cards to save pupils the "emotional trauma" of being rejected.

Children at Ashcombe Primary School were stopped from exchanging cards because the head teacher said they were not emotionally mature enough to cope.

Peter Turner told parents of the 430 pupils that cards would be confiscated.

One pupil's mother said: "I think it's outrageous. They're just children. Why spoil their fun?"

The woman, whose son attends the school, said: "It's comical really. I couldn't believe it when I saw the newsletter.

It's only a bit of fun once a year and it doesn't mean anything to kids that age
MP Ann Widdecombe

"My son is six and he's had a little girlfriend since nursery. They say they're going to get married, but we don't read anything into it."

Mr Turner said in the newsletter that children get upset when they are "dumped" which interrupts their learning.

He said children should wait until they are mature enough emotionally and socially to understand the commitment in having a boyfriend or girlfriend.

A woman who has a seven-year-old at the school said: "I think it's absolutely ridiculous.

'Parents laughing'

"It's a tradition, I can remember when I used to receive cards from boys in school. It's a lovely thing to do.

"Most of the parents were laughing about it, but the children are wondering what's going on because they've sent cards before."

Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe also criticised the move.

She said: "It's only a bit of fun once a year and it doesn't mean anything to kids that age.

"I just think it is rather silly. Haven't they anything better to worry about at that school?"

A spokesman for North Somerset Council said the head teacher was happy to discuss the issue with any parents who have concerns.

He said: "Ashcombe is a primary school and they believe that children under the age of 11 are still emotionally and socially developing and therefore cards declaring love can be confusing.

"Any families wishing to send cards are asked to send them in the post or deliver to home addresses by hand."

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Derbyshire Times School 'bans' Valentine's Day - 2 hrs ago
Western Morning News School bans Valentine's cards - 3 hrs ago
Yorkshire Post Trouble on cards as school bans Valentine's - 4 hrs ago
Hinckley Times UK News: School bans Valentine's Day cards - 18 hrs ago
IC Cheshire School bans Valentine's Day cards - 20 hrs ago

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