Two Sheffield sisters were sent home from school for wearing daffodil lapel badges in support of their terminally ill granddad who is battling liver cancer.
Elise Casey, aged 13, and her 12-year-old sister Kiera were suspended for a day by staff at Outwood Academy City after they refused to take off the badges supporting Marie Curie Cancer Care.
The Stradbroke school says it has strict rules about pupils wearing charity badges on their school uniforms – though they are allowed on bags, bag straps or outdoor coats.
But dad Lee, 42, said the pair were deeply upset about the incident.
“Their granddad is terminally ill with liver cancer and they are keen to show their support,” he said at the family home on Dyke Vale Road, Hackenthorpe.
“They’d worn the badges all the previous week and they’d let it go – but this week they were told to either remove them or go home. Elise and Kiera chose to go home.
“The school is run like a prison anyway, they check the kids’ bags at the gate every day.
“It seems to be a very strict regime.
“They really should have taken their circumstances into consideration – it wasn’t like they were wearing One Direction badges, the daffodils are for a very, very good cause.”
Mr Casey said the girls’ mum Gina was planning to give her daughters full support in a meeting arranged with senior school staff.
And he said the family were also very unhappy that the girls had been sent home when there was no one in to take care of them.
“We were both at work at the time. As it was Gina had to leave work and pick the pair up from the doorstep and take them round to their grandparents,” he added.
The former City School was taken over by Wakefield’s Outwood Grange Academy Trust at the beginning of the year, the first secondary in the city to be run by a chain based outside the city.
A Trust spokeswoman said: “We have an excellent track record of supporting a wide range of charities and encourage students to take part in charitable events and activities.
“Our policy is to request students to wear charity badges on either the bags, bag straps or outdoor coats but not as part of their school uniform.
“The only exception to this is when students purchase a poppy in the weeks leading up to Remembrance Day.”