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Last Updated: Friday, 4 March, 2005, 10:15 GMT
School suspends 40 for snow fight
The school says people and property were targeted
Forty children from a Tyneside school have been suspended after taking part in a snowball battle.

The pupils, from St Mary's RC School in Longbenton, North Tyneside, were sent home on Thursday afternoon.

Motorists complained that youngsters had targeted passing cars during the school yard pitch battle.

Deputy head teacher, Kenneth Dyer, said he thought the travelling public were "fed up to the back teeth" of the bad behaviour of some pupils.

The school suspended those involved for two days.

Mr Dyer said the children involved had broken a rule, which allowed them to play with snow on fields, but not in the yard.

He said he wanted the yard to be a "refuge" for students who did not want to play with snowballs.

'Tiny minority'

Last week a County Durham school excluded eight pupils for throwing snowballs.

Mr Dyer said: "Quite frankly, I think the travelling public are fed up to the back teeth with the bad behaviour of a tiny minority of students.

"At St Mary's we are in total agreement with Education Secretary Ruth Kelly that we take a zero tolerance approach to poor behaviour.

"At the same time we are not killjoys. We provided a huge area where hundreds of children played safely in the snow.

"But you have to question the motivation of that tiny minority that chose to target people and property. They were the ones that we punished."

Peter Renwick from Gosforth said he was caught in a crossfire of snowballs as he was driving past the school.

He said: "There were at least 20 children throwing snowballs across the road and at cars.

"I thought that someone driving down could get agitated and swerve and possibly kill someone or be killed themselves."

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28 Feb 05 |  Scotland
Driver attacks boy over snowball
25 Feb 05 |  Suffolk

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