Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 14:57 GMT on Monday, 19th November 2012.
Abronhill High parents “prepared to go to jail” to protect their children’s education

Picture is copyright of Save Abronhill High School Working Group

PARENTS of pupils at Abronhill High School have said that they are prepared to “go to jail” to keep the area’s high school open.


The residents were talking to Edinburgh-based news agency Deadline News, as the council’s consultation into the proposed amalgamation of Abronhill and Cumbernauld High Schools fast approaches this Tuesday (20th November).


The proposals would see nearly 500 pupils having to relocate to Cumbernauld High School which is two miles away, in Kildrum, though a route which encompasses dark wooded areas – often referred to as a “paedophile’s paradise”.


Concerned mum Lianne Patton, who son Bradon is in his first year at Abronhill High School, told Deadline News: “The area’s known as paedophile’s paradise due to the number of underpasses and remote paths.”


Ms Patton also made reference to a previous incident in 2007 where a 16-year-old girl was raped in broad daylight on the route which students would have to walk after August next year if the plans are put through.


Mother-of-two Lee-Ann Downs also talked to Deadline News. She said: “My boy is not going to Cumbernauld High, I don’t care what happens.


“I’m prepared to go to jail over the issue – I won’t have my son upset like this – it’s all he talks about.


Leen-Ann’s comments are not isolates. Campaigners have set up a boycott petition which encourages parents to sign up to the mantra that they won’t send their children to Cumbernauld High School. Under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 parents can be imprisoned or fined £1000 if they have persistently fail to ensure their child attends school.


Cumbernauld and Kilsyth’s SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn added: “I wouldn’t be happy sending my kids on those routes – they are remote and very poor underfoot in parts.”


As Cumbernauld Media has reported before, North Lanarkshire Council’s proposals would save an estimated £1 million a year, although confusion still surrounds the accurate saving.


A spokesman for North Lanarkshire Council said: “It would be inappropriate to comment while the rationalisation consultation is under way.


“The Abronhill High School – Cumbernauld High School consultation period ends on Tuesday 20 November and written submissions can be made to Learning and Leisure Services at Kildonan Street, Coatbridge or through our website at www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk.”

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