Call it Elf-on-a-Shelf writ large: A schoolteacher in England is in hot water with some parents after punishing some misbehaving children by pretending to call God on her cell phone, BBC News is reporting.
Sheila Jones is the “head” (a title roughly equivalent to principal) of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary, a fee-paying (that is, private) elementary school in southwest England. She’s been accused of taking naughty students to the school’s prayer room and making them lie on the floor while she pretended to call God on her cell phone and tell The Almighty of the kids’ misdeeds.
Parent Tammy Brimble says, via the New York Post, that her 11-year-old son, Cyrus, came home from school almost in tears over Ms. Jones’ rather unusual punishment.
“I didn’t find out about it when we got home. Cyrus was very quiet and I could tell something was bothering him. When he told me what had happened to him and three other boys, I was upset and I wanted to find out why she did it.”
A group of parents took exception to having their school’s principal narc on their kids directly to God, and sent an email to the school’s Board of Governors.
“You should be well aware now that the current head has irretrievably lost the support, confidence and trust of the overwhelming majority of parents, as well as from teaching and support staff. Her remaining in post will continue to damage the school’s formerly good reputation and is causing the school to fall further and further into disrepute. It also damages the good name of the church.”
This is not the first time that schoolchildren have been subjected to humiliating punishments at school. Earlier this month at an elementary school in Oregon, 6-year-old Hunter Cmelo was forced to eat lunch by himself, surrounded by a barrier, as punishment for being one minute late to school, according to this Inquisitr report.
The parents also took their complaints against Jones to the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), the British governmental agency that handles complaints against schools and school officials. Ofsted has referred the matter to the local government.
“Ofsted has shared your concerns with the local authority (Wiltshire Council) so they can progress these safeguarding concerns as they consider appropriate.”
Do you plan to get on your cell phone and pretend to call God the next time your kids act out? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
[Images courtesy of: Kiasu Children, The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald]