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School accused of double standards

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Standing up to sexism: Union President accuses Ysgol Bro Pedr

Standing up to sexism: Union President accuses Ysgol Bro Pedr

WHEN 14-YEAR-OLD Bethan was prevented from going on a school trip following an incident in school, her mother, UWTSD Student Union President Abi Jenkins was horrified to find out that Ysgol Bro Pedr, Lampeter, had taken its decision without hearing Bethan’s side of the story.

Abi told us: “Just before the end of term, I called the school to ask them if there was still a place for the children on the trip to Oakwood. They came back and said that there was a place for Iwan but not for Bethan due to an incident the previous week.

“Bethanhadn’tmentionedanything to me and so I asked her about it.”

Bethan told her mother that the previous week, a boy at school had repeatedly suggested that a girl’s place was at home or in the kitchen and that was where she should be. In response to persistent goading, Bethan finally told the boy where to go and what to do when he got there.

Abi said: “She was reluctant to tell me because she knows she shouldn’t have sworn however she was also confused.

“Working with the Students’ Union, I have spent a lot of time raising the profile of women, fighting inequality, researching barriers to progression etc. I have always taught the children that it is absolutely wrong to discriminate against or insult people on the basis of their gender, sexuality or race.”

Abi explained: “Bethan told me that she felt that this message was completely contradictory to that given by the school and she asked me why swearing is worse than making derogatory comments to someone because of their gender.

“My response to her is that it isn’t and I was furious to hear that she had spent a day in isolation, and had been banned from the trip while the boy and his friends had not even been disciplined.”

Abi’s response was to take Bethan, her siblings and friends to Oakwood on the day Ysgol Bro Pedr went there. She told us: “Bethan knows it was wrong to swear and was punished for it, but I will not stand for injustice. I made it very clear that I was not taking Bethan to Oakwood because her behaviour was okay, but because the other child’s behaviour wasn’t and he was still going.”

When Abi contacted the school, she says that she was told that it was unaware of Bethan’s side of the story. Abi was then told there had been a repeat of the incident the day before the Oakwood trip, that the school was taking it seriously, and would be dealing with it in September. The boy concerned was, however, still going on the trip.

On the trip to Oakwood Abi and her daughter wore tee shirts spelling out their feelings about the situation: “I don’t regret using a censored expletive on the T-shirts because I did it for impact and it worked. There are now hundreds of people discussing the problem of sexism in schools.”

Reflecting on her personal experiences at University as a student and a student officer, Abi said: “In the higher education sector we talk a lot about how we can effectively tackle lad culture.

“However this just goes to show that lad culture is not something that is bred in sports teams at university but in the playground and classrooms of our schools. I put no blame on the child that made the comments, my anger is directed straight at the school who I believe have a duty to educate our children on the values of respect and equality.”

She concluded: “In my view Bro Pedr has demonstrated that instead, they have rules in place to stop swearing but are doing nothing to deal with the more serious issues that are likely to impact on our children’s lives as they grow older.”

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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