An 11-year-old girl was excluded from an end-of-the-year school trip because she missed one day of school — to attend her mother’s funeral.
Maddie Stevens wanted to go with her schoolmates to local restaurant Frankie & Benny’s for the end-of-year school restaurant trip. But administrators at St. Giles Junior School in Bedworth, England, refused to let her go because she did not have the required perfect attendance record for the year.
Maddie only missed one day of school to attend her mother’s funeral, the Coventry Telegraph reported.
Maddie’s mother died of breast cancer, two years after she was diagnosed. Maddie’s father said he felt as though what the school did was insensitive, considering what his daughter had been through.
“Maddie has been absolutely amazing since her mom died,” her father, Andy, said. “She took only one day off to go the funeral, because we wanted to keep things as normal for her as we could. But even if she’d taken a week off I’d be saying this.”
“And after all that, she gets this kick in the face,” he added. “Her school should be celebrating what she’s achieved, not saying, ‘You can’t come on the school outing because your mom died.’”
“It made me feel sad not to go — it would have been a nice treat. Helping my mom for the past two years has been hard,” Maddie said.
Administrators at the school did not initially apologize despite being explained the reason behind the absence, the Daily Mirror reported.
“I got more and more angry each time I think about it, and I’m amazed they didn’t apologize to Maddie,” Andy said. “It feels like they’re now punishing us for complaining about it.”
St. Giles later released a statement acknowledging the incident.
“Following concerns raised, the rewarding of pupils for 100% attendance has been withdrawn,” the statement read.