Parent’s anger at ‘inappropriate’ script

Jo Bucknell from Banbury is concerned about her son Ethan's school script for Too Much Punch for Judy. Ethan and Jo Bucknell. NNL-150630-175726009
Jo Bucknell from Banbury is concerned about her son Ethan's school script for Too Much Punch for Judy. Ethan and Jo Bucknell. NNL-150630-175726009

A parent of a Warriner School pupil was left ‘gobsmacked’ after her 12-year-old son was asked to read a playscript which had derogatory comments about the opposite sex.

Jo Bucknell’s son Ethan was given the script by the school in Bloxham for a play called Too Much Punch for Judy, a true story which highlights the dangers of driving while over the legal alcohol limit.

But when the Year Eight pupil gave his mother a copy of the script on Sunday ready for the week ahead, she was shocked to see it included chat-up lines such as ‘Is that a ladder in your tights or a stairway to Heaven’, and ‘Nice dress darlin’, that would look good on my bedroom floor.’

And while Ms Bucknell, of Beaulieu Close in Banbury, agrees with the safety message the play conveys about drink driving, she says the lines in the script are too inappropriate for a child of her son’s age to understand.

She said: “Ethan gave me the piece of paper and said he has to learn this for school, but when I read it I was absolutely gobsmacked. I said there is no way you are learning this and that it was obviously a mistake by the school.

“I went into reception on Monday to try to speak to someone and spoke to a drama teacher before the head of department phoned me back at lunchtime.

“You try to raise your childre in the right way and this just blows it all out of the water.

“They just cannot seem to get that this is inappropriate for a child of Ethan’s age.”

Too Much Punch for Judy tells the true story of sisters Joanna and Judy who are on a night out in a wine bar when Judy decides to drive home while above the legal alcohol limit.

As she is driving she loses control of the car and it crashes, killing her sister in the passenger seat.

The play has been created to raise awareness in young people about the dangers of drinking and then choosing to drive home on your own or with passengers.

Dr Annabel Kay, headteacher at the Warriner School, said: “The play is aimed at Key Stage Three and Key Stage Four children and we check across all the schools nationally to see if they perform this play and they do.

“We have moved the whole school up a term early so the pupil is now in Year Nine and so the play is aimed for children in his age group.

“It is about raising awareness of the issue of drink driving and there are challenges. It is actually making children think and challenge their own perceptions.

“It is very hard-hitting sometimes, but we would not use this play if it wasn’t used in schools across the country.”