Mum outraged after son excluded from school ‘for wearing anxiety ring’


Ethan Wiseman, 16, uses his ‘fidget ring’ to help him cope with his anxiety in class and despite being told in the past he is free to wear it, his mum claims he has now been told to stay home

Teenager Ethan, who suffers with anxiety, wears the ring to help calm him and refused to take it off

A furious mum is demanding answers after her son was excluded from school for wearing a ‘fidget ring’ designed to help with his mental health.

Abby Wiseman says her 16-year-old son Ethan wears the band to help cope with his anxiety, PlymouthLive report.

The parents says the school are well aware of his situation – but he was told by members of staff at Scott Medical and Healthcare College to remove it.

After Ethan refused to take off the ring, the mum claims her son was sent home from and the family were told to expect official communication from the headteacher.

Abby argued that the boy wearing the ring has never been a problem in the past under the previous school management.

Scott Medical and Healthcare College

She says staff know exactly why he wears it and feels the teen was right to stand his ground.

“He used to use a slap band on his wrist, but people would notice a bit more,” she said. “So I did some research and one of my friends suggested a fidget ring, an anxiety band.

“It’s a plain band, like a wedding band and it spins. It doesn’t make any noise so when he is feeling anxious he spins it. It’s a distraction technique.

“When the previous headteacher was there, I spoke to him, gave him information on it, and he was absolutely fine with it. He just wanted my son to be happy.

“He didn’t really care if that came from a ring or whatever, he was all for his mental health and if that’s what he needed to keep him happy and in school.”

Abby went to the college and spoke to the deputy headteacher and again explained why her son needed the special band and what he uses it for.

She said the deputy headteacher told her he would inform the rest of the staff and claims the staff member said that ‘everything would be okay’.

However, the next day, she said: “I had a phone call again from another teacher saying Ethan had been put ‘into red’ for refusing to take off his ring.

“The following day I was told Ethan was being ‘excluded’ and the headteacher would be in contact. When I spoke to my son about it, he said it was because he refused to take his ring off.

“Ethan is in his final year, with exams coming up – he just doesn’t need this.

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“They are supposed to be teaching individuality, they are supposed to be allowing them to grow into the people they want to be and instead they have created a type of boot camp where children aren’t allowed to express their mental health.

“They have taken it too far, and it’s not really about looking after the children anymore, it’s about image. School is not about that.

“Excluding him for wearing a ring is a bit far-fetched.

“It doesn’t seem to matter what I tell the school, they just don’t care because it’s about an image and he’s wearing a ring, yet staff can wear wedding bands, earrings and make-up.”

Will Smith, CEO of the Greenshaw Learning Trust who run the College, said: “Our expectation is that all students present themselves in-line with school policies and Scott College offers support to parents and students to ensure the correct uniform is worn.

“We have proven experience in transforming schools and believe the key to success is to create a supportive and inclusive learning environment.

“If any students or parents have queries regarding our policies they should contact the school.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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