Head Lines with Jonny Mitchell: Idiots didn’t take a rest over summer

HEAD LINES Jonny Mitchell.
HEAD LINES Jonny Mitchell.

Thornhill Community Academy’s straight-talking headteacher Jonny Mitchell showed the world what life in the classroom is really like in the award-winning TV documentary series Educating Yorkshire.

Now he writes exclusively for us.

Every week he will give us his take on life in and outside school from his hometown in Dewsbury.

I said in my last column some weeks ago that there would be a few things that would get my goat over the summer.

I wasn’t wrong. There have been hundreds of them.

I’ll tell you what wound me up the most though – an article I was reading in one of the broadsheets a few weeks back about a young girl who had the most severe form of nut allergy, and who was flying on holiday with her family with Ryan Air. The passengers were told, on at least three occasions, before and after boarding that no peanuts should be consumed at all during the flight as, at the merest hint of peanut dust within the cabin, the girl was likely to suffer a life-threatening allergic reaction.

So what happened? Some wise guy four seats or so down from where she was sitting opened a packet of peanuts he had bought in the terminal. And, as announced, the girl went into anaphylactic shock. In fact, had it not been for the presence of an off-duty paramedic, the girl would likely have died.

Now this is a nice, family newspaper, so I am unable to print any of the next forty words which emerged from my mouth on reading this. Suffice to say, it would be a post-watershed moment or two on TV.

But, let’s face it, what do we expect to happen? Some people are, or think they are, above the law, or think that certain things cannot apply to them. “Ooh, I’m a bit peckish, think I’ll have some nuts! Never mind the tweenie down the plane who will probably die for my greed and selfishness, as long as I’m alright!” I know what I would have done with the packet of peanuts had I been there, and have a feeling I know what most of you reading this would have done as well. So not, as many people might think, the great GCSE debacle, where schools up and down the country received results which were in some cases so far from predictions it was incredible and, by extension, thousands of kids missed out on crucial C-grades which they would have achieved in the previous year, not the announcement that schools can only be Good or Outstanding if all, or almost all, of their students are entered for GCSEs in Maths, English, Science, Humanities and Languages.

These ridiculous things irk me a bit, but alongside Peanutgate, they pale into insignificance. They’re rubbish, but not that important.

If you’re ever on a plane and asked not to open your peanuts, please do as they ask, that’s a nice chap.