One of these men is not up for Most Repressed Control Freak Principal Ever. Not so fast, Principal Belfield.
“School is not the place for romantic relationships — ever.”
Thus ends a leaked email sent by the principal at Ruthin School, a leading public boarding school in north Wales (£34,500-a-year), and one of the oldest schools in the United Kingdom. Principal Toby Belfield recently sent out the email to deter students from engaging in romantic relationships.
In the email, Belfield says:
I STRONGLY disapprove of any boyfriend/girlfriend relationships - and it will ALWAYS affect any university reference I write (meaning - any student in a relationship will definitely get a worse reference from me).
He goes as far as threatening to compile a list of names of students who have girlfriends or boyfriends, and says those on the list "can expect to find new schools in September."
Here's the full email:
Twitter wasn't having it:
Because who cares about kids maturing emotionally as well as academically.— Iain Kings (@iaink85) January 23, 2018
When Belfield received a flood of complaints after the leaked email appeared on the Daily Post, he sent out a second email that was less aggressive, stating that pupils “will not be summarily expelled for being in a relationship.”
If a student was achieving top grades (ie predicted 4/5 A* at A Level), then I would not hamper their chances of a university place by writing a less favourable reference, due to them having a boyfriend/girlfriend. ... My email was a generic one to all students, to try to dissuade them from being in a teenage relationship.
Instead, Belfield declared:
[Students] will be given the opportunity to review their current romantic situation, and my belief is that they (and their parents) will put their education first.
Twitter still objected, because he's the archetypal oppressive principal in every school movie or music video from the '80s.
Let us continue to remove any possibility of our students learning any wisdom that will be of use in later life.— Beyond the Gates (@GatesBeyond) January 24, 2018
Unanimously, except for this guy:
we need more like him school is for learning only and whilst your at it also ban mobile phones and stupid hair cuts— Tony Entwistle (@tony_entwistle) January 23, 2018
In "The Principal's Message" on Ruthin School's website, we see a different Belfield:
School can be and should be a happy place.
Of course, school life includes more than just academic education. With a full range of extra-curricular activities our pupils can enjoy many opportunities outside the classroom.
We're guessing by extra-curricular activities, he didn't mean the fun kind.
In closing, let us ponder this profound musing by none other than Mr. Belfield himself...