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Deodorant was 'life threatening'

Debbie Wakeling says her daughter Kaitlyn is being punished too severely for spraying herself with deodorant on a bus from Rockhampton to Mount Morgan. A letter from the bus company says the girl is banned for using “life threatening behaviour”.
Debbie Wakeling says her daughter Kaitlyn is being punished too severely for spraying herself with deodorant on a bus from Rockhampton to Mount Morgan. A letter from the bus company says the girl is banned for using “life threatening behaviour”. Chris Ison

A 12-YEAR-OLD girl has been forced to skip school after she was banned by a bus company for using a deodorant.

Angry mum Debbie Wakeling is kicking up a stink after being told by Rockhampton-based Young’s Bus Service that her daughter Kaitlyn had “recklessly or negligently endangered the safety of other passengers or themselves” by spraying herself during the journey home from Rockhampton High School to Mount Morgan.

Kaitlyn has been banned for three weeks for a breach of the code of conduct.

A letter from Young’s cites Category Four – Life threatening behaviour.

Debbie, a barmaid at Mount Morgan’s Grand Hotel, says although she’s tried to make alternative arrangements, Kaitlyn has so far missed two days at school and could miss more before the ban runs out on March 7.

“I have to rely on other people being able to pick her up from school to bring her home,” said Debbie who thinks the bus company’s response is disproportionate.

“It was her second week at high school. She was hot and sweaty and she sprayed herself inside her shirt. If that’s a life-threatening offence why isn’t she being investigated by police?”

Debbie describes her daughter as meek, well-behaved and not the type to do anything likely to get her into trouble.

“She’s mortified by this and hates missing school. At Bouldercombe she used to win awards for her effort and attitude.”

She says she can’t understand why there was no prior information to pupils or parents explaining that deodorants were not allowed on the bus.

“I think the response has been over the top. A letter from the company warning her as to her future behaviour would have been enough. There’s been no consultation or discussion and no allowance made for the fact she was new to the school or that a ban would punish her by keeping her at home when she wants to be in school.”

On the day Debbie received the letter advising of the ban, Kaitlyn had already gone to school and she had a frantic day worrying about how she would get home.

The Morning Bulletin contacted Young’s Bus Service yesterday but was told there was no-one available to speak on behalf of the company.


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