Pie prank row - pupil expelled and quizzed by police

Jacob Dowdle

Jacob Dowdle

First published in News Messenger Newspapers: Photograph of the Author by , Arts Reporter

ALTRINCHAM Grammar School for Boys has defended its decision to expel a pupil after he threw a custard pie in a teacher’s face.

Jacob Dowdle’s actions were descried as a ‘planned assault’ rather a ‘prank’ by headteacher Tim Gartside.

The 18-year-old from Hale Barns was quizzed by police over the incident and can only return to AGSB to sit his A levels.

Jacob, speaking through the social networking site Twitter slammed the school’s response as ‘ridiculous.’ But Mr Gartside said: “Like many schools we like to mark the end of Year 13 and students have, from time to time, enjoyed clever, tasteful and original pranks that have neither harmed nor humiliated any individuals in the school. Jacob Dowdle’s behaviour on May 16th was not a prank.

“His slapping of a teacher in the face was a planned assault. Following the incident, he chose to run away from school rather than face the consequences of his actions. Indeed, instead of immediately apologising for his actions, he decided to post a video of the incident on Facebook, causing further distress and humiliation to the teacher.

“His initial refusal to remove this post from Facebook and his launch of an e’petition, giving a distorted view of what actually happened, demonstrates clearly his failure to understand the serious nature of his actions.”

But Jacob has attracted online support from the comedian Jason Manford.

Commenting after signing the e petition Oscar Davy said: “Prosecution for misbehaviour in school is just wrong. So disproportionate - I thought it was a joke at first.”

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