Thousands back leukaemia girl’s prom bid

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Thousands of online supporters have rallied to support a Derbyshire teenager whose family say has been banned from her school prom - because of low attendance while battling cancer.

Emily Bennett has allegedly been told by Springwell Community College, in Staveley, that she is not allowed to attend her Year 11 prom, due to her attendance record.

Emily is one of the bravest young girls I know and has every right to celebrate the milestone she has reached.

Online petition

Her family took to Facebook to slam the school yesterday and a petition has since been launched online to get Emily to the prom.

The petition has already been signed by 7,820 people.

Emily’s brother Tom told the Derbyshire Times: “My sister was battling cancer. She’s now in remission, but unfortunately she missed a lot of school time due to her illness so now Springwell Community College are saying she’s not allowed to go to her prom – which is the one thing she’s always wanted to go to.

“But through no fault of her own, the school are saying she’s not allowed to join the prom, and this has really hurt and upset her.”

The petition reads: “[Emily is] now in remission but has been left disabled through medication for her treatment. She is still on very strong medication for the excruciating pain that she lives with daily. She’s fallen to sleep in class because of all the medication. Understandably she has had time off from school because of the pain. She asked for none of this so why punish her for an illness that was beyond her control. Emily is one of the bravest young girls I know and has every right to celebrate the milestone she has reached. The school’s decision is outrageous. Come on find your hearts and get Emily to the prom after what she has been through it is the least she deserves.”

Ian Wingfield, headteacher of Springwell Community College, said: “We are aware of the concerns expressed on social media regarding Emily’s attendance to our Year 11 prom. Before yesterday we were not aware that Emily wished to attend the prom and we are sorry if there has been some confusion. We have now spoken to Emily’s mum and have arranged a meeting with her and Emily to discuss the situation and to invite her to the prom.”