UK & World News
South Park-Inspired Ginger Attacks At School
A number of red-headed schoolchildren have been injured in attacks by fellow pupils at a school in Rotherham.
Wingfield Academy condemned as "deplorable" the attacks last week, which were apparently inspired by an episode of the cartoon South Park, .
Fans of the animated series started "Kick A Ginger" day and it has been cited as the reason for a number of assaults across the world in recent years.
South Yorkshire Police said the force was alerted to the attacks and an officer had given "words of advice" to those involved.
The school said the students who took part had been "strongly reprimanded".
A police spokesman said "a small number" of pupils suffered minor injuries.
"Following national guidelines, the school took the lead and dealt with the matter. Police did not investigate.
"However, one of our partnership-based young people officers has given words of advice to those involved.
"In the next few weeks he will also speak at a number of school assemblies to warn of the dangers regarding discrimination and violence."
Flame-haired Eastenders actress Patsy Palmer has compared the attacks to racism and said she was bullied at school because of her appearance.
In an phone-in on LBC radio she said the abuse had got so bad she cut all of her hair off and went to therapy.
She added that she found the teasing "baffling" and urged red-haired youngsters to "be proud" of their looks.
A spokesman for Wingfield Academy said pupils had been warned that the attacks would not be tolerated.
He said: "These deplorable acts, done in the name of singling innocent people out, have no place in our school and as soon as it was brought to my attention that such acts had taken place in our school, we acted swiftly to deliver a strong message.
"The pupils involved in carrying out these acts of violence have been strongly reprimanded and a school-wide warning has gone out that any future acts of violence, carried out in the name of discrimination, or any other reason, will be met with a similar strong and decisive action.
"Wingfield Academy has a long and proud history of supporting our students and ensuring that they have a safe environment to learn in, where they can feel secure to come every day and know that they have the staff's support, which makes what happened recently even more sickening."