A PEEBLES mum and dad has called for greater measures to protect school pupils’ clothing after their daughter was forced to walk home in her gym kit when her uniform went missing, writes Kenny Paterson.
Gary and Iris French believe their 16-year-old daughter Emily’s skirt and shoes were stolen from a PE changing room at Peebles High last Thursday.
Emily attended classes the next day in non-uniform as a form of protest, while dad Gary also visited the school to discuss the matter – but was left unhappy with the response.
A Scottish Borders Council spokeswoman said the school believed the clothes were taken by mistake and was not aware of any previous incidents of theft within its premises.
The spokeswoman told us yesterday (Wednesday): “The school informed the parent and explained that they thought someone had picked up the clothes by mistake.
“Pupils in the class were asked to check that they did not put the items in their bags by mistake and a note was put in the school bulletin. To date the missing items have not turned up.
“A deputy headteacher yesterday (Tuesday) spoke to the parent of the child who has lost the clothes to explain the steps taken by the school and the parent is content with this.”
However, after being informed of SBC’s response, mum Iris was still unhappy.
She said: “We are not content with it at all.
“I think the clothes have definitely been stolen. How can someone mistake a pair of shoes for their own?
“We now have to fork out for new clothes.
“Something surely must be done by the school to ensure this does not happen again, whether it is taking all the school clothes and putting them in the corner of the PE hall.”
Speaking to TheSouthern on Tuesday lunchtime before SBC’s statement, Gary told us: “Emily had taken part in PE on the last period of school and when she came back her shoes and skirt had gone. One of Emily’s friends also had clothes stolen from a separate changing room but I believe she did not report it.
“I went in to the school the next day to discuss the matter, but was concerned nothing had been reported and we have had no communication since.
“As a form of protest, Emily then went into school in non-uniform the next day.”
Gary added: “She is a fifth year pupil, so is not a young girl, but this should still not be happening.
“It seems to be malicious, but we have had no communication from the school at all. I have taken football teams to deprived areas of Edinburgh and had items stolen, which you can maybe understand.
“But it is strange for clothes to be taken from changing rooms in Peebles High.”