Fire brigade ban mum denies accusations of “cyber-bullying”
Date posted: 19-07-2012
THE MOTHER of a teenage girl “banned” from a young firefighters passing out parade has denied accusations of cyber-bullying.
As reported on Tuesday, Samantha Graham, 13, did not attend the passing out parade at Grays fire station after she made it clear that she was not prepared to shake the hand of a senior fire officer in light of the ongoing industrial dispute.
The comments come after Essex Fire Service have pointed to a Facebook site called Defend Essex Frontline Services which they believe has become a forum to pour scorn and vilify senior fire officers.
Referring genrally to the circumstanes surrounding Sam’s non-appearance at the passing out ceremony, Deputy chief fire officer, Adam Eckley said: “It is unfortunate that a child is being used as a political pawn in an orchestrated bullying campaign played out on social media sites.”
On the site, senior fire officers are referred to as: “Thieving b***ards”, “low-life scumbags”, “hope he chokes on his paypacket.”
One comment (not by Mrs Graham) made is of the opinion that a fire officer was in the wrong job and should “have been a pig”
Some would say a particularly insensitive comment in the week an Essex police officer was gunned down in Clacton.
But fire-officers wife and Samantha’s mother, Marion Graham, although not the author of all the comments, is unrepentant.
Mrs Graham said: “This is an opportunity to speak our mind and say what we feel. A 13-year-old girl has been victimised for her beliefs.
“It is the fire brigade bosses who have branded us militants and used bully boy tactics.
“Sam went up to the concert in London as a break after all that happened. They then started calling her a political pawn. It is pathetic.”