A concerned dad believes his son’s school is picking on him for chewing gum and fist pumping with friends.
Kieran Harris, 38, said staff at Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy have imposed unfair rules that are causing his son to feel depressed.
The single parent of two said he has been called to the school no less than 20 times for repeated meetings about his son.
He claims the youngster is being handed multiple detentions, many of which are on a Saturday which is affecting his mood.
“My son got a detention for fist-spudding his mate in the playground after coming back from the summer holidays,” he toldMy London.
“The teachers had no idea that it is simply a cultural embrace of love from where we’re from.”
He added: “They called me saying he had physical contact with a kid so I thought he got into a fight.
“To find out it was a fist bump, why are you calling me in here? How do you not know a fist bump is just people saying how you’re doing?”
Keiran, from Hackney, London, feels like staff “look their nose down” at people from his area of London.
“It shows how removed these teachers are from not just Hackney but London in general. How can you expect kids not to socialise, to not be themselves?” he said.
“To have a conversation with them, if you say anything that is not in agreement with them, they cancel the meeting.”
Kieran works to prevent young people from entering a life of crime at Wickers Charity
The dad has worked in schools since 2004 and creates workshops for children who are struggling.
“I help and encourage them and try to tackle all these problems. But with my own child, I have to deal with an academy that is so arrogant,” he said.
Kieran’s son has only been at the school since September but has had multiple detentions.
The youngster was even given a detention on an inset day at the school, something Kieran couldn’t believe happened.
His son was excluded on one occasion when he went to get lunch while in isolation, something Kieran said was “fair”.
But he told how his son has also been through a lot of personal issues in his family life and needs more attention and help from his teachers, instead of punishment.
“He is so humble and nice and they haven’t supported me with helping him,” he explained.
“I’ve been trying to pick up the pieces and help him. Every detention they give him, I have to come in for a meeting.
“It could be for the smallest of things but you still have to come in. I’ll have to come in and be submissive to them.
“How do you think that looks for my son to think I’m not supporting him?”
Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy has a rigorous code of conduct that students and parents must agree to.
Its 2019 Behaviour Policy includes a no physical contact rule.
Students can’t say no to instructions by staff members and they must obey all staff without argument.
Kieran said: “I can understand they have rules that he has to abide by but there comes a point.
“These teachers don’t get how stressed I am. When I see them call, my heart gets funny.
“One time I said I’m going to record a conversation with a teacher and they said until I delete the recording, they won’t communicate with me or his mum.
“They gave him detention on inset day and they never told us but only told him.
“The hierarchy system of the school is full of middle-class people who have no experience with these communities in Hackney.
“I don’t feel comfortable talking to them. I’ve heard so many stories from other parents who have had to come to numerous meetings.
“They [Mossbourne] answer to nobody. They are a law onto themselves. My son is in a state of depression right now and all I can tell him is he’s got nine months left – I feel like I’m letting him down.”
Kieran said he is not making excuses for his son but that he has “gone through a. lot.”
He added: “He’s come into a school with a completely different set of rules.
“I’ve heard they are up for an award and I think that is so wrong knowing things like this are going on.
“I feel like he has been targeted and this might even make him target number one now and that is the risk I’ve got to take.
“This academy is making our young people into a bunch of followers who feel scared to speak up. I want to support them but they aren’t doing what needs to be done.”
The Mirror has contacted Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy for comment.