School students ‘threw cans at cars’

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RESIDENTS near a Sheffield secondary school are demanding action after students threw cans at passing cars, forcing one to make an emergency stop.

Driver Malcolm Kesterton slammed on the brakes when an empty can flew through his open car window, hitting the back windscreen and narrowly missing his eight-year-old granddaughter.

The incident, involving Silverdale School pupils, happened at a bus stop outside Bents Green shops.

An eye witness reported that only moments before, the same group of youngsters had thrown cans at the car of an elderly woman.

“Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident,” said Mr Kesterton. “Large groups of pupils continue to be left unsupervised at the bus stop by the school management and governors.

“We previously complained to the school when we witnessed a car accident caused by pupils throwing snowballs at numerous passing cars in treacherous driving conditions.

“We are concerned that the school does not accept responsibility for the supervision of pupils in the locality.”

Silverdale staff point out that the incident happened off school premises and they cannot supervise all bus stops and car parks.

Headteacher Helen Storey said: “We take any incident involving our pupils very seriously and are very sorry for the distress this particular incident has caused.

“The pupil who committed this act has been identified and suitably punished and we are now investigating how best to prevent any recurrence.”

She added: “We pride ourselves in the commitment we have to making sure our pupils are good ambassadors for the school, whether this is inside or outside the school gates.

“The overwhelming majority of pupils represent the school impeccably and we would hope this incident will not colour people’s judgement of our pupils or the school.”

However, Mr Kesterton is concerned that merely warning students about their actions is not enough.

“We are extremely concerned that this issue continues to be ignored… we feel that we need to highlight this issue before an unnecessary death occurs,” he said.

“Clearly the school will investigate the matter and hold assemblies spelling out the dangers, but teenagers are not very good at understanding the consequences of their impulsive actions.

“Personal and social education has a valuable role to play but it cannot replace the need for the school to provide appropriate supervision of its pupils.”

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Police said that its Children and Young People Officer, PC Tom Goodhill, was liaising with Silverdale and, following the incident, staff from the school and PC Goodhill were patrolling around the school and shops after school hours “to ensure there is not a reoccurrence”.