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Ilfracombe teens get litter picking punishment for racist messages

PUBLISHED: 14:29 09 December 2013 | UPDATED: 14:29 09 December 2013

Archant

Police, school and community work together to impose ‘restorative justice’ on students.

THREE teenagers who sent racist messages to fellow Ilfracombe Academy students have been cleaning up town grot spots as their punishment.

The youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were identified by their peers and spoken to by the police, but it was agreed further action should be taken.

The Academy, police, members of the One Ilfracombe town team and the parents of the three boys decided an afternoon of litter picking at several sites around the town would help reinforce the message.

Sergeant Paul Jones, Neighbourhood Team leader for Ilfracombe and Braunton, said the trio had agreed to the punishment and were sorry for their actions.

“They have been made to do something positive in their community as a result of the various agencies coming together,” he said.

Sgt Jones praised the school and said it had acted promptly to deal with the situation.

Assistant headteacher Graham Hill said it was the first racist incident he had encountered since joining the school in January of last year.

“The fact it was treated very seriously and very quickly gave a consistent message that it was unacceptable and they needed to help put it right,” he said.

“As a church school we have very strong values such as respect and responsibility. We felt we needed to emphasise that with these students - that they needed to respect everybody within our community and have the responsibility to put things right for the mistake they made.”

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