Who doesn’t love a good snowball fight? It’s one of the more widely accepted positives of the usually maligned snowfalls that hit our shores each winter, especially for children. However, one school has taken steps to put an end to this fun pastime, by banning students from even touching snow for “health and safety reasons”.
Jo Richardson Community School in east London has introduced the new rule, citing health and safety reasons and the decision has hit the headlines nationally.
Headteacher Ges Smith appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain and defended the introduction of the rule.
Mr Smith said: “The problem is it only takes one student, one piece of grit, one stone in a snowball in an eye with an injury and we change our view.”
“The rules are don’t touch the snow. If you don’t touch the snow you’re not going to throw it.”
He went on to claim it also makes the children wet and cold: “If the last thing you do before you go into school and into the classroom is have a snowball in your face, you’re not ready to learn.”
Presenter Piers Morgan, questioned the decision as well as the claims that it is a health and safety issue and asked whether the headteacher thought students at the school would be “prepared for a normal life if they were being wrapped in cotton wool.”
Mr Smith finished by claiming: “We’ve got a duty of care and that duty of care has got to extend.”
Snow has been covering parts of the country since the beginning of the week and the Met Office has upgraded its weather warnings for snow for later this week, putting more parts of the country under a ‘danger to life’ warning.
While Jo Richardson Community School has decided to use health and safety as a reason to ban snow related fun, the first annual HCS Safety snowball fight will commence the second the snowfall reaches 3-4 inches.