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School denies Facebook row claims

A headteacher has denied claims that a Facebook row which led to the suspension of three schoolchildren was sparked by a message of support for British troops in Afghanistan.

The students were given fixed-term exclusions from the Sidney Stringer Academy in Coventry following an argument "over a girl", the school said.

Academy principal Wendy Tomes said the school had "acted swiftly" after a complaint from Clare Allington that her son Darius Gill, 13, had been threatened with violence by fellow pupils on the social networking website.

She said: "On Monday morning we were alerted to a problem on Facebook involving one of our students. The comments had been posted over the weekend.

"Because we are concerned for our students, we immediately investigated and gathered the evidence that we needed so that we could take appropriate action.

"It appears that there was a disagreement over a girl and there were students using inflammatory language and talk of a fight happening."

The school would not comment on the age, sex or religion of the pupils who were suspended.

Mrs Allington, 42, told the Coventry Telegraph that her son had been threatened by a group of year eight students after he posted images on Facebook in support of British troops ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

She said: "I logged on and it broke my heart. I was reading all sorts about knuckle dusters, knives and death.

"They were planning to attack him at school that day, so I rang the school straight away."

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