Six-year-old ‘has nightmares after school staff trapped him in cupboard’

A six-year-old boy has been removed from school after allegedly being “trapped in a cupboard” by staff, a city councillor has claimed.

SNP councillor Elspeth Kerr said the pupil is too scared to go back to school and has nightmares about being trapped in the cupboard.

Ms Kerr, who represents Drumchapel and Anniesland on Glasgow City Council, said she has raised concerns with the school and local authority but does not feel the issue is being taken seriously.

Speaking at a fringe event at the SNP’s spring conference in Edinburgh on violence against teachers hosted by teaching union NASWUT, Ms Kerr claimed the boy was held in what was called a “calm room” but was formerly used as a stationery cupboard and she described it as “disgusting”.

She said: “When they (pupils) start kicking off they get put in this calm room and they get the door held shut so they are not allowed out.

“Currently this wee boy is not going back to school because he’s waking up at 4am with nightmares about being trapped in this cupboard.”

She said she has raised the issue with the head teacher and the director of education at Glasgow City Council, Maureen McKenna.

Ms Kerr said the school is working with the child’s parents, but claimed the head teacher “denies it is happening” and that Ms McKenna had told her it is “not punishment, we prefer to term it something different”.

The councillor added: “I’m getting absolutely nowhere. Why would you put your kid back in school when he’s getting treated like that? You just wouldn’t.”

SNP MP Rona Mackay, sitting on the discussion panel, said: “That’s a terrible situation.”

She added: “If you put a child into a dingy cupboard or a room that’s not going to solve anything.

“It’s going to make matters worse, and it will give them nightmares.

“I think it’s depressing the lack of common sense from the head teacher and the direction of education.”

Jane Peckham, NASUWT Scotland representative, said: “I’m concerned about that, I’m not surprised about the response you have had.”

She added: “If it’s not being addressed by the head teacher, and it doesn’t surprise me that the director calls it by a different name, then that is of grave concern but I think the parents can be crucial in taking that forward as well.”

SNP Clare Adamson, convener of Holyrood’s Education Committee, told the event: “This is being discussed at the highest level, we are taking it seriously and hopefully we will be moving away from these situations.”

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