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By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 02, 2003 11:35 AM
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It may not be as bad as workhouse conditions of old, but some English students are not happy over their labors on behalf of a certain boy wizard.

The BBC reports that after working as extras on the new Harry Potter film, 14 students at Lochaber High School in Fort William, Inverness-Shire, have been instructed by their headmaster that they can’t keep the money they made for their days on the set as they doubled as students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft.

Instead, headmaster Donald Campbell reportedly issued the edict that they must fork over their “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” wages to a school fund.

Campbell’s reasoning, according to the BBC, is that since the extra work occurred during school hours, it should be counted as work experience – not actual work. Therefore, they are not entitled to receive payment. (Is logic still taught in schools?)

Then again, says the BBC, kids at the nearby Kinlochleven High School, who also were recruited as film extras, were permitted to keep their money, thanks to a decision by that school’s (certainly popular) rector, Jim Sutherland.

Making the best of the situation, Warner Bros., which produces the “Harry Potter” movies (and, like PEOPLE, is owned by AOL Time Warner), donated about $2,300 to the Lochaber school fund, and the students, who put four days in the movie, were allowed to keep their weekend earnings.

A spokesman for Highland Council said that Lochaber High established this policy when some of its students worked on the earlier “Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets.”

No word on what is the Hogwarts’ policy on student employment.