Whole-class punishment? That's a war crime, Miss

An 11-year-old girl's claim that her teacher was breaking the terms of the Geneva Convention has gone viral...and earned her an ice cream

Adi Bloom

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There are, undoubtedly, many pupils who would take issue with the punishments meted out by their school.

Not many, however, would go so far as to accuse their teacher of war crimes, under the terms of the Geneva Convention.

And, like most accusations of war crimes, 11-year-old Ava Bell’s statement has led to a media frenzy.

Ava, daughter of author Mason Cross (whose real name is Gavin Bell), was asked to submit feedback to her teacher at her Glasgow primary.

Her response to the request to list “things my teacher(s) can do better” was subsequently tweeted by her father. She wrote: “Not use collective punishment as it is not fair on the many people who did nothing and under the 1949 Genva Conventions [sic] it is a war crime.”



The tweet subsequently went viral: it has been retweeted more than 440,000 times.

Mr Cross was therefore quick to point out that it was the system at fault, rather than any individual: Ava’s teacher was clearly only a pawn in a greater game.



While some accusations of war crimes lead to tribunal in The Hague, it soon became clear that Ava needed no professional support: she was one-girl informant, judge and jury.



Mr Cross, however, seems not to have needed his daughter’s counsel in deciding the verdict to his initial quandary. Instead, he listened to the countless Twitter voices clamouring for Ava to be rewarded for her brave stand against injustice:



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Adi Bloom

Adi Bloom is Tes comment editor

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