Director protests at naming of 'brave' drugs boy

6th November 1998 at 00:00
STIRLING'S director of education is lodging a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission over newspaper coverage of the seven-year-old boy who handed a quantity of heroin to his class teacher last week, saying it was "killing my mum".

The protest by Gordon Jeyes is over the identification of the youngster who attends Borestone primary in Stirling. The complaint names the Daily Record, Daily Mail, Herald and Scotland on Sunday.

"The council regarded this as an isolated incident and a cry for help from a very brave boy," Mr Jeyes said. "Our complaint is based on the issue of child protection procedures which are governed by the strictest confidentiality among all staff."

Tommy Brookes, who chairs the council's children's committee, said: "By publishing the boy's name and his photograph, sections of the media have wilfully and irresponsibly marked him out and have undermined the support this council is providing for him and his family."

It is understood that council officials were involved in discussions with the family about protection measures but the boy has not been placed on the child protection register.

The authority considers that the school took "appropriate action" when the boy's teacher told the headteacher who then alerted the police and education officials. Staff also wrote to parents at the school which has more than 300 pupils.

The Stirling case follows the discovery of Pounds 500 worth of heroin in the schoolbag of an 11-year-old at Craigton primary in Glasgow. That incident triggered a rapid response from Helen Liddell, the Education Minister, who announced that the Scottish Office would be setting up a multi-agency task force to review existing guidelines.

The Inspectorate is currently evaluating the management of drug-related incidents in a sample of schools.

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