Sheffield school pupils 'hurling abuse' at community centre staff labelled 'unruly yobs'

A group of school children are making the lives users and staff of a Sheffield community centre a 'living hell'.

Thursday, 12th October 2017, 12:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:39 am
Former Royal Engineer John Gilvarry has raised concerns of anti-social behaviour involving Taptop School students at the Zest Centre in Upperthorpe. Picture: The Star/Marie Caley

A group of school children are making the lives users and staff of a Sheffield community centre a 'living hell'.

Walkley resident John Gilvarray who uses the Zest Community Centre in Upperthorpe said a group of 'unruly yobs' from Tapton School hurl abuse at staff and cause trouble on a daily basis.

He said the students come into the library area in a morning as they wait for the bus to school.

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Mr Gilvarray, aged 50, a former Royal Engineer in the British Army, said he was spending most mornings in the library for the past six weeks updating his CV and applying for jobs, to which he was successful.

But his time there has been marred by a 'group of up to 20 students hanging around shouting, swearing and making unbearable noise'.

Tapton headteacher David Dennis said he was keen to identify the individuals responsible.

Mr Gilvarry said: "I've spent time in the armed forces so I'm no prude but the language and the aggressive manner some of these kids use is intimidating the staff and people who use the centre. It's a living hell for people.

"There's pensioners who come in and mothers with young children - they don't seem to care. They get asked to leave they respond by telling staff to 'f*** off', things like that.

"It's the sort of stuff you might hear in a squaddie's mess room but from kids in a library.

"People should feel safe to use a library or any of the other valuable community facilities that the Zest Centre offers without fear of being abused by feral yobs."

Tapton School headteacher, David Dennis said: "We are disappointed to hear about such behaviour from our students. We take very seriously our role of educating students and supporting the local community and as a school we aim to uphold the highest of standards in every aspect and regularly communicate this with students in form time, assemblies, lessons and communications with home.

"On the rare occasions that poor behaviour is displayed by a small minority of individuals we are keen to follow the incident up by identifying the offenders and holding them to account for their behaviour. Unfortunately in this instance school have not been provided with details regarding the incident and therefore have not been able to follow up or identify those responsible.

"If the member of the public wishes to contact school to provide us with details we would appreciate receiving this in order to investigate further and hold the students to account for their behaviour.

"Please be assured that we are keen to uphold the highest expectations of all our students and take these matters very seriously.

"However, we do regret the changes to the timings of the First 751 bus service which some students from that area choose to use and which has on occasion been delayed meaning students have longer to wait for the bus and also arrive late for school."