A private school in Kent has been criticised after the Head of the School asked facemask-exempt students to wear the identifying badges according to reports.
Farringtons School in Chislehurst has been condemned by some parents after requesting that students exempt from wearing a face mask wear a yellow badge – which bears an ‘inappropriate’ similarity to yellow stars Nazis forced condemned Jews to display.
The school made face masks mandatory for students in classrooms and corridors amid concern over rising COVID cases. Headmaster David Jackson wrote a letter to parents explaining that exempt pupils at the £34,000 a year school ‘should wear a yellow badge’ and other students should wear a face covering ‘until further notice.’
Mr Jackson wrote ‘In light of the increase in the number of cases, we have also decided to re-introduce the compulsory wearing of face masks in classrooms and other confined areas within the senior school, such as corridors… until further notice. Those pupils who were exempt from wearing a mask last academic year will once again be exempt and should wear a yellow badge to indicate this’.
A spokesperson from the school said ‘The rationale for introducing a badge for mask exempt pupils is so that they are not repeatedly challenged about not wearing a mask. On walking down a corridor, a teacher can immediately see that a mask is not required and therefore the wearing of a badge was intended to make it easier for those pupils’.
I thought labelling people and making them stand out was harmful?
Critics have said that wearing of badges for exempt students is not necessary and the school has ignored the ‘historic connotations’ of yellow badges which condemned Jews were forced to display in Nazi-occupied Europe.
Others thought it is a total over reaction to the schools pro-active way of showing exempt students “It’s a shameful, hurtful and totally unrelated comparison to make. Identifying yourself as exempt as such is in no way whatsoever comparable to what the Nazis did in the ’30s”.
Another person added “Is it a star of David? No. Is it a star of any description? No. So what’s the connection here”.