Photoshop family

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This story is hard to ignore. Not only does it seem outrageous in content, but the above photo looks like a horrible photoshop job. Is this even a real law, or is this a hoax trial balloon to test the public’s reaction to what appears to be a ridiculous regulation.

A British couple fined $1,800 and hit with a criminal record for an off-season vacation with their children has fuelled a countrywide debate about school holidays.

via British couple fined $1,800 for taking kids on holiday during school term | Toronto Star.

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5 thoughts on “Photoshop family

  1. tsisageya

    I’ve made a vow not to cuss anymore. I’ve made a vow not to cuss anymore. I’ve made a vow not to cuss anymore.

  2. psyopticon

    It smells strongly of a Hoax. This high-profile case is being used to grandstand new laws forbidding holiday absence during school terms. The (simmy) Sutherland family are the sacrificial lambs to highlight these strict new rules. (here’s betting it’s run as a local authority revenue spinner like parking tickets!)

    The family “photo” (singular) is very dodgy. Who sepia tones their family snaps these days?! And the perps publishing it – Midland News Association (MNA) – have considerable form for hoaxes! Even some of the MNA “journalists” are very simmy (useful savings on the payroll bill!)

    In the narrative, the Sutherland children are innocent of any crime. It’s their wicked (simmy) parents who’ve wronged, by vacationing in term time. So those (innocent) kids are legally entitled to anonymity. There’s an Automatic Reporting Restriction imposed by s.49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. It forbids identifying children in the media where it would cause them injustice, and there are very few exceptions. The 80 year old law was beefed up by s.44 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.

    So these sepia-toned kids, if they were real, would have a good case for suing the newspapers and their (simmy) journalists!

    For the same reasons we should call Hoax on that trashy Channel 4 TV series called Benefit Street. Ostensibly it’s a real-life documentary about a street full of social welfare claimants. Yet the programme identifies (innocent) children and associates them with their parents’ serious criminal behaviour – crack-smoking, shoplifting, etc! It must be totally staged – very docu-drama!

    And one of the social landlords on Benefit Street is the newly-elected West Midlands Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner called….”Yvonne Mosquito”!! And even she looks simmy! This country is crazy!

  3. JohnnyClues

    The more I see this photo, the more odd it looks…..why does ” father Stewart’s” legs look so tiny compared to the rest of him. From what I can tell them legs don’t fit the body….just my opinion.

  4. PeterShea

    oh what we let ourselves in for when we (unwittingly) consent to being
    dead legal fictions, thus allowing twisted and corrupt top down
    ‘leadership’ to rule and ruin our lives and more importantly
    the lives of our children.
    let us try standing in the ground of the living and lawful flesh
    and blood human being and see how that goes down with the
    we might be surprised at what power we really wield.

    know thyself. it is high time.

  5. khammad

    I am not sure if the family in this article is real, but the laws are real.

    According to the Telford & Wrekin Council (in the US, this would be like the County Council, just below state government but above city government), a school’s Headmaster decides if an unauthorized absence should get a penalty, but it would be the Local Authority, in this case, Telford & Wrekin Council, to enforce the policy/fine.

    Here is the council article about this court case, although no names are mentioned:…

    It appears that the Local Authority gets its authority from national legislation: Section 7 of the Education Act 1996.

    Here is the local legislation that gives power to the council to enforce fines by the schools and deal with attendance of students in general:…

    Here is more specific legislation concerning Local Authority, in this case, Telford & Wrekin Council attendance policy rules:…

    Here is the most specific legislation concerning students taking vacations during the school year:…

    Below is an example of a letter most likely sent to the father, Stewart Sutherland.

    Appendix 3a

    School Letter Leave Not Agreed
    (Parents name and address)


    Dear (Parents name)

    (Child’s Name and Date of Birth)

    Thank you for your letter dated (date) requesting permission for (pupil’s name) to be absent
    from school for (number of days), (dates).

    As you may be aware the Government has renewed appeals to parents not to take their
    children out of school during term time. The Governors of the school support this and have
    decided that students will only be given permission to take leave in term time if there are
    exceptional circumstances. Having looked at your application, although understanding of
    your reasons, I do not feel that your request can be supported in this instance. Therefore, if
    the absence occurs the dates will be unauthorised.

    As a school we are asked to inform you that, in line with Telford and Wrekin Council Policy,
    unauthorised absence may be subject to a penalty notice fine of £60 payable per parent, per
    child, increasing to £120 each if not paid within 21 days. If this fine is not paid within 28 days
    this may lead to court proceedings.

    Our key priority is to ensure that (pupil’s name) is as successful as possible and is able to
    achieve (his/her) full potential. I would hope that, upon reflection you are able to support this
    decision in line with the Local Authority and Government policy that leave should be
    restricted to the 13 weeks school holidays except in exceptional circumstances.
    I have attached a copy of (pupil’s name) attendance for this academic year.

    The Headteacher has been fully consulted in relation to this request for leave and fully
    supports the decision made.

    Thank you for your understanding; I hope this letter explains the decision that has been

    Yours sincerely

    (Job Title)

    Notice the bolded passage which state quite clearly the fines that will be imposed. Other penalties include getting kicked out of that particular school. Boy, that would solve any attendance issues.

    Although the actions by the council appear to be draconian, the reporter is more than happy to spin this article in a way to make the working class feel punished by even thinking we could go on a nice vacation.

    In 2011, local schools in partnership with Telford & Wrekin Council made some attendance rules and upped attendance from 80% to 85%. Hot on the heals of their success, they made more rules to achieve a goal of 95% attendace. It seems as if poor Stewart Sutherland is a victim of an over-zealous attendance policy (not to mention stodgy government and school employees who act, without regard, as if they are elites).

    It should be mentioned that the Sutherland family, if real, was most likely picked to be punished as an example to others.

    Also of interest, Telford & Wrekin Council was fined £90,000 (about $150,000) last year for breaches in their data systems by the national government. I wonder if they are trying to recoup some of that money?


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