ACCRINGTON’S Carnival Queen has been suspended from her job at a sports centre after slapping a work experience boy.
Stunning Romi Jane Young, 21, was working as a leisure attendant at Hyndburn Sports Centre when she struck out at the 15-year-old, who was on a placement from a local school.
Romi, of Plantation Street, Accring-ton, said: "I know what I did was wrong but the things he had been saying were really hurtful.
"He had a really bad attitude from the moment he began his placement and he had been really obnoxious to everyone that day, not just me.
"On the morning of the incident we had not been getting on and the next thing I knew he was calling me names like ‘bitch’ and ‘Paki’. I have been racially abused all my life and something inside me just thought ‘I’m not going to take this any more’ and I slapped him."
Romi, who is of mixed race, had been a part-time member of staff at the sports centre for eight months when the incident happened. Her duties included spells as a lifeguard in the swimming pool.
She said: "I didn’t hurt him or leave a mark on his face. It was wrong, I know, but no-one should have to take insults like that. I just flipped."
After the incident leisure bosses sent Romi home to cool down.
She was called to attend a disciplinary hearing yesterday morning (Thursday) when she was told the investigation was still ongoing.
She added: "I’m really annoyed at the sports centre bosses too. When they sent me home that day they made out that what had happened wasn’t that big a deal but then they suspended me and left me dangling for seven weeks.
"I have even tried to resign so I could move on and get a new job but they won’t accept my resignation."
Joe Balko, Chief Executive of Hynd-burn Leisure Trust, said: " I can confirm that a member of staff has been suspended while an investigation into an alleged attack on a work experience pupil is carried out.
"She will not be reinstated until the investigation has been completed."
Romi, who lives with her mum Tracey and 14-year-old brother Daniel, became Accrington’s Carnival Queen last year after beating 25 other hopefuls in the event organised by Accrington Lions in conjunction with the Observer.
She led the parade at the Carnival in June and has also entered our current Hyndburn Honeys competition.
A spokesman for the school involved said: "We do not wish to comment as the matter is under investigation" and Acc-rington Lions also had no comment to make.