Maggy Lane (pictured), 13, was told to remove her Poppy Appeal wristband at Shepshed High School in Leicestershire because it breached the uniform code.
A man whose grandfather was a Second World War soldier has hit out at his daughter’s school after she was banned from wearing her poppy wristband because of health and safety fears.
Maggy Lane, 13, was ordered to remove the Poppy Appeal band - a symbol of remembrance sold by the Royal British Legion - by teachers at Shepshed High School in Leicestershire.
The teenager was told the wristband was forbidden because it breached the school’s uniform code and it was feared the rubber bangle could get caught on something during a lesson.
The schoolgirl’s father Myles Lane, 39, questioned why the rubber bands were banned because of the potential safety risk when students are allowed to wear poppies secured to their uniform by a pin.
‘I feel quite passionate about it,’ said Mr Lane, who added that his grandfather Arthur Witherbed, who died last year at the age of 90, was part of the Royal Leicester Regiment which fought in Norway in 1940.
‘I have always drummed into my daughter the importance of Poppy Day and she had bought the band out of her own money.
‘They told me it was a health and safety risk, but they are okay to wear a poppy with a pin on it.
‘I can appreciate the school has health and safety issues with bracelets but I think they should be able to make an allowance with a poppy band,’ said Mr Lane, a draughtsman.
‘Perhaps they could ask students to remove them in potentially hazardous situations like for P.E. and in cookery lessons, then let them wear the bands at other times.’
Mr Lane, from Shepshed, said Remembrance Day held extra significance for his family since his grandfather’s death last year.
When the Germans invaded Norway in 1940 Mr Witherbed escaped by walking to neighbouring Sweden. From there he made his way back to England, and he was stationed with the military police at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire.
Adrian Stephenson, joint head teacher at the school, said: ‘We don’t allow children to wear wrist bands at school. It is as simple as that.
‘We have to stick to the uniform code,’ he said.
‘When governors put the dress code together, health and safety is part of the issue of wearing jewellery.
‘It is important to stress we want the children to understand all about remembrance and it is a central part of what we do, but at the same time, if you want to run a good school you have a set of rules and you have to stick to them,’ Mr Stephenson added.
His co-head Stewart Goacher said the wristband was forbidden under the same rules that prevent pupils from wearing bracelets.
Mr Goacher added that the school sells lapel poppies, holds an annual remembrance assembly and supports the charity Help for Heroes.
David Hobday, chair of the Loughborough British Legion, said: ‘In theory, I am upset because it is a promotional time particularly for us, but if it is school policy and they have been asked to take them off then that is the school’s prerogative.’