Hero or villain?
A high school student in the United Kingdom was both praised and eviscerated on social media after reports emerged that he was suspended from school for capitalizing on coronavirus fears to sell hand sanitizer squirts.
Jenny Tompkins, the teen’s mother, took to Facebook to post his picture and wrote that it is hard to scold him when his own father called him a “legend,” the BBC reported.
Tompkins wrote that her son made about $11 in profit and planned to buy a kebab and Doritos with the haul. She called her son a “little turd” for the stunt.
The student’s move was called entrepreneurial by some. One poster called him a “very enterprising lad” and another said that despite the punishment, he gets an “A in economics.”
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“Don’t let the system fight you down, you have the mind of an entrepreneur, keep it up, you’re going places,” another post said.
The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has stoked fears across the globe with its quick spread and uncertain transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stressed that the best way to prevent transmission is to avoid contact with someone infected. The health body also stressed that washing hands with soap is another key step in preventing the virus’ spread.
The school, Dixons Unity Academy, later told the BBC that no “pupil has ever been excluded for selling hand sanitizer. The student in question was excluded for a separate and unrelated incident in line with academy behavior policy.”
Tompkins told another U.K. paper that she “told him off” but will not punish him further.