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28th November 2014

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Headteacher reports teen blogger who criticised school to police

    Council leader Sarah Hayward poses with students

    Council leader Sarah Hayward and Hampstead School head Jacques Szemalikowski pose with students. Below: Kinnan Zaloom
     

    Kinnan Zaloom
    The Hampstead Trash blog

    The Hampstead Trash blog

    Published: 05 September, 2013
    EXCLUSIVE by PAVAN AMARA

    A HEADTEACHER reported a teenage blogger to the police and phoned a university he had applied to with a warning about his behaviour after criticisms of the school appeared online.

    Kinnan Zaloom, 19, has been told never to return to the grounds of Hampstead School in Westbere Road again after setting up a website attacking the way it is run.

    The blog, The Hampstead Trash, makes claims about the school’s spending on promotional material and lack of investment in musical instruments and gym equipment, poor attempts to listen to pupils’ views about the school and a failure to push GCSE results to a higher level.

    Mr Zaloom started the blog in February and continued with a series of articles – many containing fruity language – criticising the running of the school. He has compared his work to the irreverence and bite of Private Eye.

    But the school’s headteacher, Jacques Szemalikowski, told the New Journal yesterday (Wednesday) he took action because he was worried Mr Zaloom could be “developing into an anarchist”.

    He went as far as calling Glasgow University, where Mr Zaloom hoped to take his degree-level studies, to tell them about the content on the website.

    Mr Szemalikowski confirmed yesterday that he had blocked the blog from school computers, contacted police and phoned Glasgow University’s admissions officer.

    He said he had “major concerns and was duty bound under legal acts for the prevention of violent extremism. It is fairly worrying stuff.”

    Asked what had worried him about Mr Zaloom’s articles, he said: “The fact that Kinnan has mentioned the ideologies of anarchism and individualism on this blog.”

    Mr Szemalikowski added: “I must do something. In the last year he has become more and more enchanted by anti-establishment ways of thinking and has even said that there is an inherent risk that every government is corrupt.

    "I phoned Glasgow to warn them what sort of person they were dealing with, to advise them that this person thinks thoughts like these, and they could then make an informed decision. I am duty bound to do that.”

    The headteacher added: “I also reported what he had written to the police, and the officer I spoke to said he would pass these mad writings of his on to a colleague.”

    Neither Mr Szemali­kowski nor Mr Zaloom have since heard from police.

    The long-standing school caters for around 1,300 pupils, and former students include novelist Zadie Smith, women’s England international footballer Rachel
    Yankey and actress Sadie Frost.

    All smiles, council leader Sarah Hayward was at Hampstead last week as Sky News cameras turned up to film students opening exam results.

    Mr Zaloom does not write for the blog any more because he has left the school but it is being updated by another, anonymous student.

    In a piece about last week’s exam results, the site even mocked Cllr Hayward’s beaming congratulations, adding: “To this we reply with a facial expression of derision and a sarcastic ‘sure’.”

    Mr Zaloom said when he was writing for the site he was hauled into the headteacher’s office on his last day of school and warned “never to return to the school site again” or police would be called.

    A piece published online had claimed there were differences of opinion among staff about the management of the school.

    It added the school was  “playing the school league tables” in terms of how results were presented and went on to include a series of expletive-laden sentences including: “So f*** you school management, f*** you.”

    In another article, the site said: “The school claims again and again that it listens to students needs and that it takes into consideration what students say and care about. This is utter horses**t. So much horses**t indeed, that findus’ lasange is bewildered.”

    It went on: “The school magazine is not worth the paper it is printed on and does s**t all to voice student consensus.”

    Mr Zaloom has compared senior staff at the school to characters in George Orwell’s Animal Farm and casts Mr Szemalikowski as Napoleon in the novel.

    Mr Zaloom says he was interrogated about why he wrote one of the more critical articles and warned he should never return to the school site – even to pick up his A-level exam results  – because the piece was considered “offensive”.

    Mr Zaloom, who did not get the grades he needed to get into Glasgow but will be studying mathematics at Portsmouth University this year, said: “They said I had brought the school into disrepute. I said that was their opinion, but nothing I had done was illegal so why such severe action?

    "I was prepared to apologise for the language. But what worries me is if I had been a year younger they said they would have expelled me halfway through my A-levels, and that means they would have been prepared to ruin my education because they didn’t like my thoughts.”

    He added: “It was useless to call the police because I didn’t break the law.

    "I was concerned he’d called Glasgow because I’m worried he would go to those lengths of intimidation to control a student’s thoughts. But I wasn’t too panicked because it turned out I didn’t have the grades to get in there anyway.”

    Mr Zaloom, who co-founded a debating society at the school, compared his treatment to those fighting for press freedom in the Middle East.

    He said: “Obviously it’s not on the same scale at all, this injustice is small, I know that. But my family are from Jordan so I know how things work there, and newspapers are not allowed to write what they want.

    "Everybody is controlled, and I can see that happening here. It reminds me of Ingsoc
    [a totalitarian government in the Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four], people must conform or they are out.

    “When he blocked the blog from the school’s computers that was bizarre. How does he find the time to go round doing things like that?”

    Mr Szemalikowski defended blocking the blog from the school’s computers in April saying: “He posted lies about the school and I will not tolerate that.

    "His posts were scattered with the f-word and c-word and if a student spoke like that in school they would be expelled. So of course I blocked the blog, and told him never to come back. He’s right, if he had been younger, he would have been expelled.

    “It would have been his responsibility that he ruined his education, not mine.”

    He added that if Mr Zaloom had not used bad language he would still have warranted an expulsion “for his mad ideas and ranting”.

    Mr Zaloom said he wanted to thank “a lot of the very good teachers at Hampstead School” but felt they were not given the chance to “teach the way they want to”.

    Comments

    Kinnan Zaloom

    Kinnan Zaloom is clearly a very intelligent and far sighted individual. I wish him the very best in his life. He should go far.

    Hmm not sure but this smells of government connections...

    I looked up this school and found out that, and I quote, " It is a specialist Technology College and has been recognised by Investors in People." This "Investors in People is a business improvement tool administered by UK Commission for Employment and Skills and supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)". While The UK Commission seems like a public entity it is supported by the BIS which happens to be a ministerial department of the United Kingdom Government. Also not surprisingly "The school was awarded a 'gold star' accolade by Ofsted in 2001" and Ofsted is a "non-ministerial government department of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools In England" So I may be going out on a limb here but the government is probably Ok with the way their handling the re-education pr... oops i mean EDUCATION process.

    biased article?

    I don't want to underestimate the importance of what our youth have to say but we need to remember that in those developing teenage years there can be a lack of perspective and appreciation for the responsibilities that the adults in our lives have. This head teacher is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of 1,299 other pupils and will sometimes have to make decisions that not everyone will like. As someone who has worked in health and social care for many years I am familiar with this difficulty and I read this article and wonder if we are really getting the full story or just the one that makes for the best witch hunt!?

    biased article-reply

    When reading students' comments about school most people would expect some youthful exuberance and bias. These comments don't deserve such a heavy-handed reaction.
    However, if we are talking about accuracy or truthfulness, let's look at the official glossy-paper, beautiful-photos, no-expense-spared school newsletter. H S parents - do you read it? Do you feel it reflects your experience of the school? I feel Kinnan's observations are closer to the reality than this baffling publication.
    All the reaction this article has received has made me think that maybe most schools would benefit from an unofficial blog, just so that parents and students have some forum to communicate and find out what goes on in these very secretive institutions.
    I know of another school where it has just been started.
    Thank you Kinnan for coming up with the idea. Thank you, Anonymous, for continuing the work in spite of obvious peril. Also thank you Mr S for bringing it to our attention. Some heads would have kept it quiet and made it go away.

    Big Brother

    Oh Dear
    The Head calls the police because he is concerned about a pupils anarchistic tendencies. This makes me more concerned about the Head than the pupil I'm afraid. We do not live in a police state and we have free speech and the trustees of the school need to point this out to the Head.

    SHOCKED!!!!

    How dare a teacher dictate the thoughts of any young person..
    This young lad sounds like a wonderful boy full
    Of questions about life. So what if there is a few angry swear words along the way...
    He is a young angry man learning about the harsh realities about life... I'm sure she will turn out "wonderful"
    Free Thinking and not a "sheeple"
    To think this head teacher went on to Glasgow University and tried
    ruin his life is appalling and very very worrying... Rest be assured I studied at Glasgow Univeristy and they would
    Have laughed the pants off that disgusting warped
    head and welcomed this young free
    thinking lad with open arms... As a West Hampstead mum;
    No way I will be sending my daughters to this warped backward run school... I'm outraged at this head?????? It's so worrying this guy can and has control
    of 1500 students attending that school which sounds to
    me from student feedback; it's a sinking ship! Just confirms a free school
    IS needed in West Hampstead after all... I hope for the sake of the future generations that head gets swiftly booted out the back door; the same fate he tried for this young lad.

    Orwell's vision

    My son went to the school in year 7. It took me a few weeks to realize that it was run just as Kinnan describes. I voiced my concerns several times, including meetings with senior staff, emails, discussions at school coffee mornings. The school is completely criticism-proof and self-congratulating. It was like an Orwell meets Kafka situation. I was just some little person as significant as a bothersome fly.
    I know some kids who went there, most of them have had their talents wasted. I don't believe the school's claims of good GCSE or A level results. I took my son out of there after a few months, when I lost hope completely. Have I found a better school? I now think that the problem is not with that one particular school or headmaster but with the requirements put on schools by the system - yes, comparisons to Orwell's vision are strong.
    I'm grateful to Kinnan for speaking out in such a way that his opinions were heard, I didn't know how to do it.
    Having said all that, I did like many of the teachers there.

    Reality Check!

    Although I understand the students justifiable concerns about free speech in general, the teachers and the School Management have a duty of care to all pupils not just this student.

    I think anyone whoever makes an analogy between press freedom and the freedom of speech in a liberal School, in a liberal borough, in a liberal city with the issues regarding freedoms in the Middle East cannot really comprehend what is happening in the region. Anyone who has lived in a country with press censorship will know how ridiculous this analogy is.

    All schools have a duty of care to all students and if a website/blog is being used to write one-sided rants about teachers, the school has the right and duty to ban this from the schools network as it will clearly undermine the there ability to what there to do and that is teach.

    Although I think its been long held view that getting students involved in the how a school is run can improve the relationship between students and teachers, there has to be line drawn. At the end of the day children go to school to be educated and must stay in school legally until the age of 16. So whether the student likes it or not the teachers/school management have to have the overall and final say on how the school is managed and how the budget is spent.

    After listening to the pupil in question, it seems to me that he is angry with the school management for no reason, maybe it’s down to his own shortcomings. As he is now 19 he will now need to learn very quickly, in life you don’t always get what you want and if you have problem with the way something is being done it is better to air this in an open and transparent way and not secretly write abusive and vindictive messages about a school that has clearly provided him a decent enough education for him to think and write so eloquently.

    Reality check?

    I think you are in you are in the minority on this one. It seems to me that this brave young man has hit a nerve, and judging by the hysterical reaction of the head teacher, a very raw nerve at that.
    Our children have been misled about their history and the principles of our Common law, delberately and systematically, in order to diminish their national pride. A softening up process that is designed to subjugate our country, and the rest of the world, to a cruel and despicable regime of religious megalomaniacs.
    Fortunately children can smell hypocricy long before they've learned to spell it.
    Your pathetic attempt to excuse this orwellian behaviour is part of the problem, the reason why the word 'liberal' is now synonymous with 'spineless, appeaser, and willful ignorance.'

    Are you for real?

    Wouldn't surprise me if you were the School management writing this!!! The student ACKNOWLEDGED Middle East is worse - read the article properly! He said nothing different! But he is right he is being supressed, and on a LARGER scale, would be like Middle East. The school only has so much influence, however, Of course the student has reason to be angry in such circumstances - swearing is not such a crime as censorship - and the school proves it in their response. They would expel him for voicing his opinions, despite any other school encouraging students to think for themselves! I see no shortcomings yet in the pupil, your argument has no merit. I don't know him, but he seems very tuned in and will stand up for that, despite the intimidation. He will be a leader, rather than a coward, in life.

    You also have right to free speech about the matter, hence your comments. But so do I. I think you're probably of the same vein of the school, thinking your petty power is more important than anyone else. Quieten anyone who complaints. The school didn't make this pupil into what he is. He is what he is, DESPITE the school. It came from him, not them.

    Article from Ex-Student

    Here is an article written by an ex hampstead student, talking about Kinnan and his headteacher...

    http://delphibaker.blogspot.co.uk/

    This story provokes mixed

    This story provokes mixed feelings in me. I can't help thinking that there are more constructive ways to try to get issues and grievances across to people rather than a faceless blog.
    If this student was really as passionate as he claims to have been about any perceived shortcomings of the school surely he would have raised these issues whilst he was a student so that changes could be made that would benefit the whole school. It is somewhat cowardly to hide behind a blog. It is quite telling really that he only revealed his identity once he had left the school. That fact makes it seem like a game and a joke and therefore devalues all of his points in the blog.

    Have you considered that,

    Have you considered that, given Headmaster's attitude, student might not have felt safe raising these things with him? Blog is an acceptable alternative for freedom of speech. Complaints procedures are corrupt all the time.

    What a horrible little man

    This head is probably ne of those super heads. That means the government will have puffed up his ego and fed him lots of hype about himself that he no doubt believes. He probably thinks the school is lucky to have him whereas in fact he is just another shark in a suit there to put into place whichever mad education initiative the public school boys in Whitehall think will make comps just like the elitist establishments they attended.

    He also comes across as a paranoid man, probably more concerned with the image of the school than he is individual students. He wants to push them so he can get a job in a quango or even a knighthood.

    He just looks bad, 'warning' Glasgow about anarchists like they're illegal. He is noit the sharpest tool in the box is he. His spiteful, high handed bullying reminds me of Putin, and they let these idiots run schools.

    Asylum

    Perhaps the lad should apply for political asylum in Russia. Seems we may all have to if the law is ever enforced in accordance with this headteacher's beliefs. The student should consider suing the headteacher for libel, given that he has arguably made malicious accusations, and should be investigated for wasting police time. Even if you think the student has been a bit naughty, the schools response is over-kill by any standards - and has backfired badly.

    Views of the silent majority

    The article states: Mr Szemalikowski added: “I must do something. In the last year he has become more and more enchanted by anti-establishment ways of thinking and has even said that there is an inherent risk that every government is corrupt."

    Given all that has happened in recent years - cash for peerages, the Iraq War dossier, MPs' expenses, etc - the student is probably speaking for the silent majority if he believes that "there is an inherent risk that every government is corrupt". It's a perfectly reasonable belief and not grounds to run to the police screaming "anarchist!" or try to prevent this student from getting a university education. Well, if it is now illegal, we're all in trouble! Szemalikowski should note that the Blue Police are now disbanded and perhaps take a chill pill or three.

    ex student and teaching assistant

    as an ex hampstead student and teaching assistant also a local resident id like to share my views on how hampstead school has progressed in the last 7 years since the current head took over...im sure u will find exam pass marks have increased..also attendence has greatly improved..as a local resident id like to add the behaviour of the students outside of school has got so much better over the years making the local people feel safer in there homes and community...unfortunately it is very hard for any school to make every student 100% happy maybe instead of blaming the heads of the school for your bad times you should look at yourself and think bout what you could have done to make you time a more enjoyable and successful one...id finally like to thank the head and teachers of hampstead school for for not only raising the bar inside the school but also helping to make school start and finishing times feel less caotic....

    teaching assistant's praise for the school

    My 2 children went to the school. My older one under the previous headmaster, so I have some comparison.
    Under Mr S they have improved attendance at the school, they obsess about it much more than about what kids do in lessons. Maybe it is better for the local residents to have the delinquents off the streets but when those delinquents are in class with my kid instead, making normal lessons impossible, I'm not impressed. There are normally 2 police officers and several strong members of staff on the gate at leaving time, so no wonder it is not chaotic.
    I can't believe the school's claims of results: my younger one is not there any more but in year 7 the only recognition kids were getting were 'good behaviour points'. Absolutely no acknowledgement or encouragement of any academic aspirations. The school combined English, history and geography into one subject called humanities ( taught by a teacher who didn't graduate in any of the above) and endless hours in humanities were dedicated to talking about behaviour issues and watching The Hobbit. There was no writing, reading, or any traces of history or geography.
    I remember some coffee mornings when parents were asking for homework, we were met with sympathetic smiles, heads nodding and notes taken down, followed by - NOTHING. The only homework was set in art. How can they have good results with kids not putting any work in?
    They have no text books, no clear curriculum, no accountability for covering the curriculum, the teachers struggle just to stay on top of behaviour issues.
    Maybe some statistician could chip in and enlighten us how these good results could be achieved: potiomkin numbers, cherry picking, etc?
    A Parent Voice meeting I went to was nothing to do with parents' views, it was about some extravagant plans for the school building, I was shocked by the lavishness of the project.
    The focus of this school is on assimilating, diffusing and enculturizing undesirable elements, not on what I understand as education. I have been told since that schools are not there for the betterment of privileged individuals but to produce better citizens. Well, maybe in this sense of the word 'education' the school is doing its job.
    Maybe they are just responding to the tough challenges thrown at them but they shouldn't befuddle prospective parents by pretending to be about academic achievement.

    Would you like to borrow some punctuation, spelling and grammar?

    I have some spare:

    AAA BBB CCC DDD EEE FFF GGG HHH III JJJ KKK LLL MMM NNN OOO PPP QQQ RRR SSS TTT UUU VVV WWW XXX YYY ZZZ

    ...................... ????

    I'd, Hampstead, Hampstead, I'm, you, attendance, I'd, their, about, your, I'd, Head, Hampstead, chaotic.

    Your comment does not bode well for the calibre of teaching does it?

    This headteacher is nothing

    This headteacher is nothing but a control freak. Kinan has a right to speak his
    mind so does anybody else for that matter. I was in the same situation got pushed out of my job. Mr Gove wants to give more control to headteachers,is he having a laugh! Not all headteachers are like this, but we need to put the
    ones that are in their place.

    Nothings changed

    As a parent, I had reason to make a formal complaint to the Governing Body of the school soon after he started at Hampstead. Although I got an "off the record" apology from one of the governors over the incident they were not willing to go further as he had just been hired. The governors took the complaint very seriously (they consulted with Camden Lawyers) but their overriding concern was to protect their (and the school's) reputation.

    "ideologies of anarchism and

    "ideologies of anarchism and individualism" Our schools do so much to stamp our Individualism and thinking for yourself, this one must have slipped through the gaps.

    The powers that be don't like

    The powers that be don't like it when their actions are publicised. If the information was unrepresentative of what was happening in the school then why not publicly refute it and show why it wasn't true? The actions of the headmaster suggest that Kinnan was onto something in his criticisms of the school.

    Abuse of Power by a Head teacher

    It is utterly disgraceful that this Head teacher behaved in such a manner -which shows his lack of awareness of in democracy, freedom of speech and views expressed by this particular student. The Head is a disgrace to his profession by being so spiteful, behaving like a dictator that he goes to misuse and abuse his status and power to attempt to destroy a bright, articulate young man's future and prospects. It is unforgivable that he deliberately attempt to destroy his chances of getting into a university. The Head teacher by his actions has shown himself to be arrogant, incompetent, spiteful, racist, unprofessional, stupid and a disgraceful coward. He used his status, position and power to abuse this young man's right to state his views and discontent of how the school is run. He used the excuse of "extremist" to misuse of power to intimidate and bully this young man by reporting him to the police. As a resident of Camden - I am appalled that this man is even in the position of a Head-teacher to behave in such manner. If anyone should be reported to the Police - it should have been the Head teacher for being a racist and a bully who used intimidation against this young ex student. The Head-teacher should be sacked!

    I suspect most admissions

    I suspect most admissions tutors would laugh if a head teacher contacted them about this. They'd probably think the headteacher was being a pretentious idiot with no concept of data protection or manners.

    They might think its strange

    They might think its strange but no-one wants to report a headteacher.

    He should be in the private sector

    I went to a private school and this sort of totalitarian behaviour by teachers happens all the time there. It is sickening to think that people entrusted with teaching the next generation would look to supress free thought and individualism, simply because it does not align with their own views. It is their job to encourage independent thinking, not to brain wash kids to pass exams and follow the rules. And as for including the police in this, surely the way in which the head tried to sabotage the lad's future by contacting the university is the closest thing to a crime here? This is just another sad story of a big ego who can't take criticism and doesn't like others to have an opinion. I wish Zaloom all the best for the future and hope his ingenuity will take him far and make a difference to the world.

    Since when is criticism and swearing against the law?

    Maybe this headteacher should be charged with wasting police time?

    From ex-student.

    As a former student I would agree and support his views. They should be encouraging free speech as he is only stating what is happening and has not actually done anything wrong. I also think that Szemalikowski is abusing his authority and also the fact that he has got so annoyed suggest that he is telling the truth.

    Obvious

    Mr Szemalikowski added: “I must do something. In the last year he has become more and more enchanted by anti-establishment ways of thinking and has even said that there is an inherent risk that every government is corrupt".

    It seems that Mr Zaloom is merely reflecting the opinion of a significant proportion of the British public. Certainly every British Government I am aware of has demonstrated itself to be corrupt to some extent.

    Dear Mr S, now will you listen?

    All my children went to Hampstead School over the past decade, and back then it was a good school with a sense of community and shared purpose with good core values, a sensible, safe school. We supported the school and our children were happy there.

    Since you arrived Mr S, with your obsession with exam results and league tables, you and your Senior Management Team have utterly lost touch with your pupils, their parents and many of your staff.

    In private, some of your staff speak of feeling disaffected with being forced to work in ways they don't believe in. Its all become about results and image, the school wall covered in motivational posters, lessons interrupted by senior management to perform uniform checks - yes, that happens. What a bizarre priority.

    You say you listen but you don't. When I tried to talk to you I was fobbed off, when you set up a school council so that students could 'have a voice', you didn't listen and I know of several who, having been elected, left, disillusioned because the whole thing had no real potency at all. Just for show.

    Well Mr S, you can massage the figures to make the results look great, but something isn't right. About 20 of your brightest students left the school after their GCSE's this summer, to study for their 'A' levels elsewhere.

    There is something missing at the heart of your school, and I think it has to do with a lack of respect for your students and staff. Education isn't all about exam results, its about helping individuals fully develop their own potential, including individuals who may not agree with you, and that has been lost by the wayside.

    The ex-student has my support

    What a moronic head teacher to try and stifle this young man. It is outrageous that the head contacted Portsmouth Uni to report this young man and even the police! Imagine having those who are supposed to nurture you taking such an action. Even to be told not to come and collect his A level results. 

    Intolerable intollerant tirant

    Yes I did it I vocalised hw I feel about head teachers and head masters who are like this.

    They are all up for promoting the next upcoming thing but not the result of the pupils taking in the information and using it.

    This school needs to be investigated if any pupil or parent who are at a school like this or even this one it's self you can report it to the governing body and or ofsted they regulate schools.

    Please don't feel like you are being sly by not talking to the head sometimes a suprise visit reveals more than you would have ever thought.

    Headteacher is a disgrace to his profession

    It is a disgrace how this young man is treated and victimised by a Head-teacher who clearly is a spiteful, arrogant man who is scared to hear the truth and try to silence its critics by misusing his power and authority by contacting police and the university. It is a disgrace that he tried to destroy this young man future by contacting the university. How dare this man call himself a Head-teacher who show such spite, arrogance and used such disgraceful and disgusting tactics to destroy a young man's future studies and life, who has the tremendous courage to voice his views on a school that is badly run and managed. I am a mother of an ex student and I utterly agree with the sentiments of the young man. I actually removed my child from that school because I lost my confidence in the school.

    My experience

    I had reason to make a formal complaint to the School's Board of Governors about the maltreatment of my daughter soon after he took over as head that had left my daughter distraught and refusing to return to the school (we eventually had to move her elsewhere). Despite submitting a detailed account of the affair, backed by detailed documentary evidence, the governors (who went as far as taking legal advice from Camden lawyers) were desperate to hush this up as it could have been bad publicity for the school and themselves. I did get an "off the record" apology from one of the governors but it was made clear to me that nothing was going to be allowed "on the record". Wish I'd contacted the CNJ all those year's ago, going to the (then) Board of Governers was a wasted effort - Hopefully they take these matters a bit more seriously now!

    Another Ex-Hampstead Student

    As another ex-student I can only agree with what Kinnan is saying. I was at the school when the current headteacher joined and I felt the shift between a school that wanted push students to achieve to a school which focused on grades and outward achievements.
    He's now begun to cute down on the drama department, which was the only one that had passing and high grades year after year, to spend money on, what?, banners and other unnecessary things.

    Know both sides before drawing a conclusion.

    The people who have written these comments have only read a one-sided argument here, written by a journalist. Having studied journalism at university, I know that it is a biased and unfair one-sided story. Until you have all the facts, it is not fair for you to make opinions!

    Secondly, Kinnan was NOT expelled, Kinnan had already finished 6th form at Hampstead School. And as for the rights of a child, Kinnan is NOT a child, he is classified as an adult at 19 years old! Maybe if he had concentrated more on his A-Levels, rather than concentrating on the blog, he may have got the grades that he needed to get into the university that he wanted to.

    Kinnan and his anonymous friends have NO IDEA how hard staff work at Hampstead School and what Jacques has done to make it a better school. And without the education that they have received there, they would not be able to write as well as they do.

    The whole blog is just a libellous rant from students have no idea what they are blogging about. And the language used in some of the blogs is particularly offensive, with some of them using an expletive 3/4 times per sentence.

    Maybe when they grow up and begin to understand the world around them and have jobs where they have to follow instructions and rules tighter than that at Hampstead, they might understand why Jacques has taken the stand that he has.

    What are they going to do when they have such jobs? 'Stick it to the man??' Create a blog about their place of work? It's pathetic. We all have to do things that we don't like. We all have to abide by rules that we don't agree with, that's life. And if you want to fight it, do it in the proper way, don't hide behind a keyboard and computer screen, what will that solve?

    So, go and shadow a member of staff for the day, TrashTeam, to see what they actually do, because I can guarantee you that it's nothing like what you imagine.

    Is that you Mr S?

    I don't see evidence Zaloom was 'hiding' anywhere? You the tinpot dictator no doubt hide behind several layers of beaurocracy and junior members or staff?

    Dear Mr. Headmaster, please

    Dear Mr. Headmaster, please stop posting anonymous comments on this article. You are a moron. Every additional word you speak betrays your total lack of understanding of this situation. You could have responded far more effectively by speaking to Kinnan privately about the blog, voicing your disapproval but at the same time respecting his right to his opinion. Contacting the police about Kinnan's 'anarchism and individualism' is just plain absurd - surely you can see how out of line you were there? Having a job and being at school are just incomparable in the way you try to. Of course you can't make a vitriolic blog about your employer - they pay you! Don't think Kinnan's getting any money from your school by doing you any kind of service - in fact, it's YOU who are doing HIM a service! And if you're not doing a good job, why on earth wouldn't Kinnan be entitled to voice an evaluative opinion? Join the rest of us in the real world.

    Jacques Szemalikowski, Headmaster of Hampstead School

    First of all, for anyone who hasn't yet found the Hampstead Trash Blog, here it is: http://hampsteadtrash.blogspot.co.uk

    I can't believe Jacques Szemalikowski, the headteacher at Hampstead school, thought this was acceptable behaviour. All pupils have the right to freedom of speech, something Jacques Szemalikowski doesn't seem familiar with. He should be sacked immediately!

    If anyone feels like contacting Hampstead School to let Jacques Szemalikowski know just how outrageous his behaviour was, the school's contact details can be found here: http://www.hampsteadschool.org.uk/page/?pid=5

    another ex student

    I haven't been a student there for many years now, but when tamsyn imison left is when the school started failing. The fact that this head teacher has reported kinnan for expressing his views(even if they are explicit) about a school he attends is disgraceful! Aren't teachers supposed to listen to pupils? Aren't they supposed to be nurturing minds, so that they become strong and independent INDIVIDUALS?! Well done kinnan for using your basic human right to freedom of speech. Once upon a time the school did nurture this but sadly that was lost well before i hit my late teens. While i was a good student for the most part and achieved fairly good GCSEs, i was let down in the sixth form. I hated it and wanted to leave to find work or go to college to be on a course that i actually enjoyed. Did they help me find another alternative? No! They forced me to take lessons and sit exams i didn't want to take, and at the time it was called VOLUNTARY education! I took one as level and didn't get very good marks because of this. They have been dictating for a long time and it seems that this head teacher is just the same. I hope all the students in the school get up and take a stand... After all he cant expel every one

    For a more open and tolerant society:

    I find it difficult to believe that sush a demonstrably intolerant person shoud be allowed to have anything to do with the education of youg people. Let us hope he is speedily replaced by someone with a more open mind.

    I can only hoppe that our young blogger continues to criticize institutions when in his opinion they fail to perform or act appropriately.

    Outraged former student

    i am a former student at hampstead school and am absolutely disgusted that someone who is intrusted with the education of students can strive to destroy one of there futures by violating their right to free speech. 

    Zaloom is clearly Oxbridge

    Zaloom is clearly Oxbridge material......clearly applied to the wrong university

    Sachsgate

    Same headteacher used the sachsgate tapes for a mock exam. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8896593/School-uses-o...

    hah!

    the absolute idiot.

    As a parent of an ex

    As a parent of an ex Hampstead pupil i can confirm that this head teacher really is as self-absorbed as he comes accross in this article. It really is all about figures & tables & how it makes HIM look. Mr S would not have survived as long as he has without the backing of some very influential staff who not only knew how to treat the kids with the respect they deserved and thereby get the best from them in return, but also always had the much needed time for parents too. 

    If you would like the Board

    If you would like the Board of Governors to hear your complaint about Mr Szemalikowski write to- Governing Body Hampstead School Westbere Road London NW2 3RT Don't just let your opinion be known online!

    Head should be proud, not scared

    This student has grown up with the freedom, confidence and eloquence to question and challenge the status quo. The whole school should be proud to have nurtured that and accept criticisms that may help the school develop in the future. Instead, the Headteacher's narrow-minded, reactionary attitude is really depressing. I'm a retired teacher myself and would be so ashamed to have ever done such a thing myself.

    Qith

    This head is clearly not the sharpest tool in the box. A reactionary moron with a paranoid insecurity. The quality of heads these days is not high. Mainly sharks in suits. A great shame

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