‘Hopeless’: Qld student’s unbelievable formal snub
A YEAR 12 Keebra Park High School student who was told he can't attend his formal last night because of unpaid fees has slammed the school for being "elitist" and only caring about the wellbeing of a select few.
Graduating student Bailey Thompson-Rowsell, 17, said he and his long-term girlfriend Jenna had been looking forward to the attending the event all year.
But he says because his mother, who has gone through recent personal hardship, is behind in her school fees, a staff member told him in front of his peers he couldn't buy a ticket because of unpaid fees.
"I met every other requirement and then was told I wasn't allowed to go because my fees weren't up to date, I felt kinda hopeless," said Bailey.
"Most of the footy boys have been given scholarships to pay off the rest of their school fees but when it comes to the other students like me, who have also had to work hard all year to graduate, it's like no one cares."
Bailey, who intends to get a carpentry apprenticeship after graduating, said he was gutted he would be unable to be at his girlfriend's side during the formal.
His mother said she tried to get financial support a few years ago to see if her son could access indigenous funding through the school but was told all indigenous support had been stopped at the school and that "elders had been fired".
"With my son well aware of our financial issues, he took it on himself to speak to the principal in the middle of the year who informed him he would be able to attend so long as his attendance was good and he passes," she said.
"He worked so hard to pass, he's a good kid.
"Last week, after assistance from his aunty and uncle he had the money to pay for a formal ticket, but when he went to purchase the ticket he was informed he couldn't go due to unpaid fees.
"This was obviously very embarrassing as other students where around."
Despite numerous attempts to contact the school to sort something out, Bailey's mother said she had not heard whether her son would be allowed into the formal.
She said the school even suggested her son should pull out of school altogether.
"But he didn't want to leave and he not only finished the year but finished before all the other students in his class," she said.
"I personally think this is social discrimination at its best and this only proves to disadvantaged young people no matter how hard you work in school it still will not be enough to celebrate with your peers and not feel like as my son would say a poor kid."
Keebra Park High School has been approached for comment.
Originally published as 'Hopeless': Coast student's unbelievable formal snub