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Schoolgirl banned from wearing knitted poppy because it's 'too big'

Schoolgirl Courtney Dougal was told to remove her woollen poppy as it was 'not appropriate'. Credit: Raymond Dougal/SWNS

A teenager has been banned from wearing a knitted poppy to school - over claims it is too big.

Courtney Dougal, 13, was told to remove the woollen symbol by teachers who said it was "not appropriate" to be worn in class.

Norfolk high school Great Yarmouth Charter Academy said the symbol was "too large", measuring at 1cm larger than a paper poppy.

Raymond Dougal, 69, bought the poppy for his daughter Courtney from his local pub, The Sportsman's Arms in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, last week.

Her father said: "I am absolutely disgusted that they have made her take the poppy off. It doesn't make any sense.

The school said the poppy wasn't appropriate due to its size. Credit: Raymond Dougal/SWNS

The 69-year old added: "It is a little bit on the larger side but that is what makes it. If it was huge and looked ridiculous I would not have sent her in it.

"As it is it looks lovely. She is only little so that probably makes it look bigger than it is."

Courtney was ordered to remove it by principal Barry Smith when she turned up at Great Yarmouth Charter Academy on Tuesday.

Mr Dougal said: "It's a mark of respect and for a good cause, I don't understand their reasoning.

"I said to Courtney to just go in and wear it but she didn’t dare."

Despite Raymond making a formal complaint, the school have defended their decision.

Great Yarmouth Grammar School has defended its decision to ban Courtney's poppy. Credit: Google Street View

In a statement, the school said: "Poppies are available in school and we encourage pupils and staff to wear them; unfortunately in this case we felt that the large knitted poppy was not appropriate to wear in school.

"We are keen that pupils recognise and respect the sacrifices made in war, and pupils are being encouraged to learn the poem In Flanders Field. Many will be taking part in the town’s Remembrance Day service on November 11.

"We are also refurbishing and relocating plaques commemorating former pupils of the Great Yarmouth Grammar School that served in battle, as a permanent reminder of that important heritage."

The Sportsman's Arms landlord John Vale said the knitted poppies had already added close to £50 to the total raised in the pub this year.

He said the school had "overstepped the mark" this time, branding the ban "disrespectful".