Parents are fuming their kids’ school prom was cancelled – because itching powder was planted as a booby trap for teachers sitting on the loos.
Headmistress Deborah Stanley scrapped the end-of-term celebration for all 180 pupils in year 11 at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls in Kent as a result of the stunt.
Mums and dads have now vowed to organise a ‘rebel’ ball for the sixteen-year-olds instead.
They say the girls are ‘devastated’ over the move and say only a handful of pupils who organised the prank are responsible.
The culprits, said to be as few as five pupils, had hoped schoolmistresses would be scratching their bottoms after using the loos.
Some also used Fairy washing-up liquid and soap to smear the building’s stairs.
Miss Stanley took a dim view and sent the parents of the entire Year 11 a message last week that the prom was cancelled because of ‘pranks’ which were a breach of health and safety rules.
Many girls were in tears when the news broke and angered parents.
Miss Stanley said students had overstepped the mark on the traditional prank-filled ‘Muck up day’.
Parents begged the head to make a U-turn claiming only a small number of girls were involved.
A group of parents and pupils have now banded together on social media to organise their own ‘rebel’ event and at least 150 are said to be involved.
One parent backing the mutiny, who asked to remain anonymous, said the head’s punishment was out of proportion.
“It is a long known tradition that students get up to mischief on their last day of school,” they said.
“So to have their end of school prom – their celebration of three years of hard work and GCSE success, and the last event to say goodbye to friends – taken away from them is an outrage.”
A committee of pupils had spent six months making arrangements for the blow-out, using their lunchtimes and free time after school, said the parent.
“The Prom Committee is deflated, feeling that their organisation and work is now worthless.
“And despite being so proud of the prom that they had put together, they are all devastated that their hard work was for nothing.
“A lot of the girls’ parents have ordered expensive prom dresses, some made-to-measure from overseas, which cannot be returned.”
In her letter sent home to parents, Miss Stanley said “The school cannot and will not tolerate unacceptable behaviour with significant impacts on the health, safety and well being of all in the school community.
“I am sorry for those students who have worked hard and were not involved.
“Our collective aim for all Year 11 students is that they are prepared and focused for their GCSE examinations.
“Staff are continuing to work hard with their classes to support Year 11 in their preparations between now and half term.
“I wish all Year 11 students the very best for their GCSE examinations and look forward to celebrating their successes with them in August.”
The letter said all those who have bought tickets for the prom would be refunded.
One angry parent said the prom organising committee have seen their efforts ‘wasted and money has been spent on expensive dresses and shoes for nothing’.
One pupil, calling herself Year11 Mggs said on social media “I am in year 11. I wasn’t even in school on Friday as I was at a hospital appointment and I came in halfway through the day only to find out that our prom had been cancelled.
“I was absolutely outraged.
“It may just be a prom but to some of us who are leaving the school it was a chance to say goodbye to the people who we are probably never going to see again.”
Local residents had their say on social media.
Sombre Reptile wrote “If the school has a Muck Up Day, it must expect things to be Mucked Up.
“The action taken is typical of teachers. They don’t have the backbone to find and deal with the alleged culprits – they take the easy option and blame everyone and think that is justice.”
But Clark Kent2222 wrote: “The head is right to stand her ground – she is trying to set a standard in the school.
“No issues with the parents organising a new prom for the children – as they get older and encounter a problem, making a fuss and stamping your feet doesn’t make it go away. Life doesn’t work like that. Now ffs go and enjoy the prom – then we can all get some peace!”
Karrot Top said: “”If washing-up liquid and soap were put on the stairs, then that goes well beyond a prank and I can see why the head is so perturbed. It would appear that a few may have spoiled it for the majority.
Man0fK3nt wrote: “The school hasn’t done themselves any favors with this stance. Should have banned the culprits who are responsible and allowed the Prom to continue. That’s how you learn personal responsibility for your own actions.
Zedboy said: “Let’s hope the girls who outrageously overstepped the mark actually learn a lesson in life? Unlikely given the parents efforts to ignore the issue. Shame.”