Schoolchildren told they would be punished for RACISM if they did not attend a religious workshop on ISLAM

November 22, 2013 | by | 16 Comments

Parents today slammed a school after children as young as eight were told they would be punished for RACISM if they did not attend a religious workshop – on ISLAM.

Angry mums and dads were sent a letter by Littleton Green Community School, in Huntingdon, Staffs., warning their children would be considered racist if they did not go on the school trip.

The visit to Staffordshire University – for Year 4 and Year 6 pupils – had been arranged as part of the children’s “cultural education” on November 27.

Angry parents at the gate of the school after their children were threatened with being labelled as racists if they didn't attend a workshop in Islam

Angry parents at the gate of the school after their children were threatened with being labelled as racists if they didn’t attend a workshop in Islam

Headteacher Lynn Small wrote to parents and said if kids did not attend a “racial discrimination note” would be made on the pupil’s records and would remain there for their school careers.

On top of that, they were also ordered to pay £5 towards the cost of the trip.

Yesterday parents blasted the school’s “ludicrous” threats and accused the school of trying to blackmail them.

Stacy Waldron, 26, who has an eight-year-old daughter at the school, said: “I feel my child will be racist if I don’t allow her to go.

The Littleton school  Huntington, Cannock, Staffs.

The Littleton school Huntington, Cannock, Staffs.

A text message sent to parents demanding £5 for the Muslim school trip

A text message sent to parents demanding £5 for the Muslim school trip

“This is my choice, not hers, and she shouldn’t have to pay for it.”

Mum-of-four Tracy Ward added: “I was shocked by the letter. To be told my kids have got to attend this workshop is disgusting.

“Everyone should have a choice but that’s my opinion and I don’t want a stain on my kids’ record as a result.

“They are not old enough to be called racist.”

Her sister Donna, whose daughter also attends the school, said: “It’s not our religion. We should have a right to stop our children going.”

Another parent Gillian Claridge, 55, added: “To be told we had to pay for the trip as well was just a kick in the teeth.

“How dare they threaten to brand the children racist at such a young age. Its going to make them feel like little criminals.

“The very nature of religion is all about choice – on this occasion they were not being given any choice at all.

“It was draconian move and its left a lot of parents fuming.”

Around 100 pupils across four years were expected to take part in the course – which would have involved them being shown Islamic artefacts.

But after parents contacted the school they were then forced to make an embarrassing U-turn and withdraw the threat after council chiefs intervened.

A letter from the head to parents on Thursday night apologised for “inaccuracies” in the previous correspondence.

In the letter Mrs Small asked parents to “on reflection disregard a section from the earlier letter”.

South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson slammed the original move –  labelling it “bonkers”.

He said: “The idea of attaching a ‘racial discrimination note’ to children’s education records saying it will remain on their file for the duration for their school career seems unfair, particularly when it is no the child’s decision whether or not he or she attends.

“It seems a very heavy-handed approach.”

Defending the decision Mrs Small said that exposing the pupils to other faiths was part of the school’s statutory duty.

She said: “We are a mainly Christian school, but we have to cover at least one other religion as part of the national curriculum.

“This visit is part of that.

“They would not be taking part in any religious practices. We have had similar workshops on a variety of religions in the past – including one on Islam with no problems at all and the children have absolutely loved it.

“We have pupils and teachers at the school who belong to the Islam faith and it is right for the children to understand and appreciate their faith as well as their own.”

The school, which was told it “required improvement” in an Ofsted report earlier this year caters for 341 pupils aged between 3 and 11.

A spokesperson for Staffordshire County Council said: “This is a school matter and the council was only contacted once the letter had been sent.

“We believe it is important for children to find out more about different cultures.

“However parents also have a right to withdraw their children from religious activities.

“Clearly it is not appropriate for comments about racial discrimination to be made in these circumstances.”

The original letter – dated Wednesday, November 20 – read:

“Dear Parent/Carer,

As part of the National Religious Education Curriculum together with the multicultural community in which we live, it is a statutory requirement for Primary School aged children to experience and learn about different cultures.

The workshop is at Staffordshire University and will give your child the opportunity to explore other religions. Children will be looking at religious artefacts similar to those that would be on display in a museum. they will not be partaking in any religious practices.

Refusal to allow your child to attend this trip will result in a Racial Discrimination note being attached to your child’s education record, which will remain on this file throughout their school career.

As such our expectations are that all children in years 4 and 6 attend school on Wednesday 27th November to take part in this trip.

All absences on this day will be investigated for their credibility and will only be sanctioned witha GP sick note.

If you would like to discuss this further please contact our RE Coordinator, Mrs Edmonds.”

Category: News

Comments (16)

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  1. Gary Rumain says:

    Unbelievable! Who does this cow think she is?

  2. King David says:

    English people are the ugliest people in the world. They have long noses crooked teeth and talk as if they were getting an anal probe. The English are the root cause of all of the problems, read about colonialism and the effects of it. All these people are racist the way they get mad at learning about a religion, That’s why the USA is your dad UK, you guys are our little bit ches

  3. Bob Smith says:

    1984 here we come.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cultural education… You mean learning how to be the best muslim and assimalate into a culture that teaches pedophelia, discrimination against females, and discrimination to any non muslims. There needs to be a drastic action taken against of these ungratefull people who come into your country and dont conform to U.K culture when you would be killed in there countrys for even attempting the same thing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I personally agree that a knowledge in all subjects will only enhance the mind. But people in this country have a choice and thats there perogative, to be sent a letter stating children would be classed as racist is out of order, don’t know what the teacher was thinking of she only inflamed the situation

  6. skai says:

    ”Defending the decision Mrs Small said, that exposing the pupils to other faiths was part of the school’s statuary duty ” May I ask Mrs Small how many Muslim pupil of her school had been asked to be exposed to Catholic, Christian Hindu, or Sikh faiths?
    Donna who said ” It’s not our religion ,we should have a right to stop our children going” She is 100% right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some classes were involved in a Christian wedding service at a local church the day before. There was no fuss or ‘outrage’ from non-Christian pupils or parents. There was name calling and verbal abuse from a gobby minority towards Mrs Small about this ‘trip to a mosque’ – just goes to show the intelligence of these oafs. A badly worded letter born out of the frustration of having to deal with a numbing lack of support from some parents. Couldn’t they talk to the Headteacher? No, that would involve having to listen to an opinion they may not agree with. Instead let’s get our 5 seconds of fame by being furious and call the news hungry press to make a massive witch hunt out of a minor story. Oh, and let’s get the BNP and EDL fired up and organise a protest outside the school to intimidate pupils and staff. Great work. The fear should be why we pander to these bigots. Goodness help the children. The wording of the letter was very ill-advised and I would be wanting to talk to the Head if my child brought that home, but all this fuss – really? Get a grip people.

  7. skai says:

    Mrs Small ” We are mainly Christian school but we have to cover at least ONE other religion as part of the national curriculum” I would like to know who decide that it has to be a Islamic workshop? and how come not Hindu,Buddhist Sikhs Bahia, Jewish, Zoroastrian Workshops?
    I would suggest non Muslims to read a Quran and do research on Islam and muslim history ……to know the truth about Islam. You will find it is completely opposite to what we have been made to believe.

  8. GeoffP says:

    “Refusal to allow your child to attend this trip will result in a Racial Discrimination note being attached to your child’s education record, which will remain on this file throughout their school career.”

    This is an illegal and extra-judicial threat. Identify the staff member or members responsible and conduct disciplinary hearing immediately. Otherwise, sue.

  9. Chet says:

    All very reasonable….in an Orwellian monstrosity.

  10. Anonymous says:

    more nonsense rules.Religion should be kept apart from education and a doctor will not write sicklines for this.I have found out that you are not legally entitled to a “fitness certificate” and whatever happened to peoples rights it cannot be compulsory

  11. Irony Man says:

    Racism? ISLAM IS NOT A RACE!!!!

    That headteacher should be sacked and never allowed to work with children again!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Britain is on its way to being a full-fledged Islamic state because of idiot Islamist appeasers like Lynn Small. Pathetic traitor.

  13. Anonymous says:

    England has been conquered with nary a shot fired. The battle was over as Lee Rigby lay there mutilated while the perp bragged on about it, and nobody helped.

  14. Irony Man says:

    ISLAM IS NOT A RACE!!!!

    That headteacher should be sacked and never allowed to work with children again!

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