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Mum complains to watchdog after daily calls head boy’s speech ‘racy’

NewIPSOA school head boy’s mother complained to the press watchdog after a regional daily described an end of year speech he gave as “racy”.

Claire Brooks complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation after the Dundee Evening Telegraph reported that parents had called for an apology from two senior pupils after the content of a leavers day speech had “humiliated” fellow pupils.

The coverage prompted Mrs Brooks, who had attended the event, to complain under Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 6 (Children) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, claiming the content of the speech focused on the head boy and girl’s friends, who had consented to their inclusion, and the speech was well received.

She said the story had caused her son stress and risked damaging his reputation.

Denying a breach of Code, the Evening Telegraph disputed that pointing out the “racy” nature of the speech represented an intrusion into the complainant’s son’s time at school.

Further, the newspaper noted that the article did not name the pupils and disputed that they were identifiable from the information featured in the article.

During IPSO’s investigation, the Evening Telegraph offered to remove the story from its website, resolving the matter to the complainant’s satisfaction.

The full resolution statement can be read here.