Mother vows to ‘fight my corner’ for son taken out of school due to safety fears

Emma Maclean with son Ruairidh. Picture: Greg Macvean
Emma Maclean with son Ruairidh. Picture: Greg Macvean
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A mother of three who took her nine-year-old son out of primary school for his own safety has vowed to “fight my corner” if he wants to return.

Emma Maclean withdrew son Ruairidh this month from his P5 class of 29 pupils, six of whom have additional support needs, at the school in West Lothian. She met with council chiefs on Monday, who outlined two options: Ruairidh returns to class with a resolution to his problems being sought, or he can leave and go to another primary school in the same area.

The youngster has been ­diagnosed with anxiety by the family GP. Ruairidh claims to have witnessed a string of incidents including a child with “anger issues” threatening to kill himself with a pair of scissors. The class are also on their fourth teacher since last August.

Ms Maclean, who lives in Winchburgh in West Lothian, said despite acknowledging there were problems, the council could not provide a guarantee that things would improve.

She told The Scotsman she would “fight my corner” if the youngster decides that he wants to stay on at the school.

She said: “I would be sad for Ruairidh’s sake if he was to leave because he has attended there since his nursery years and it’s been the hub of his education to date.

“So, with his interests in mind, it would be better for him to finish his primary years at the school he’s very familiar with. He also loves the teacher he currently has.”

Ms Mclean added: “The easiest fix for the council right now would be for me to take Ruairidh and put him into another primary school.

“Ruairidh is still off school and I need to take the options back to him to find out what his preferences are and what he feels like doing.”

Ms Mclean said in one incident a P5 child was kicked in the ribs in the playground while his young attacker shouted “I’m going to kill you if you won’t kill yourself”.

She said she felt the needs of certain pupils in Ruairidh’s class are greater than the care that can be provided in a mainstream school.

Scottish Labour MSP Neil Findlay said: “These are very serious concerns being raised by Emma. West Lothian Council must fully investigate these allegations and ensure that all pupils are safe in school.”

A West Lothian Council spokesperson said: “The ­council is committed to the education and welfare of all our pupils. It would not be appropriate to comment on individual cases, but we are aware of this complaint and officers have met with the child’s mother to discuss her concerns.”