Headmistress Lynn Small wrote to parents about multicultural school trip
Children will attend ‘Explore Islam’ workshop at Staffordshire University
‘Racial Discrimination’ would appear on permanent record if they didn’t go
Parents at Littleton Green Community School in Huntington complained
Staffordshire County Council stepped in and head had to apologize
Mothers and fathers were warned: ‘Refusal to allow your child to attend 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.
‘All absences on this day will be investigated for their credibility and will only be sanctioned with a GP sick note.’
Yesterday parents at Littleton Green Community School in Huntington, Staffordshire, said the threat to the pupils aged between eight and 11 was ‘ludicrous’. Gillian Claridge, 55, said: ‘How dare they threaten to brand the children racist at such a young age? It’s 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 a draconian move and it’s left a lot of parents fuming.’
Stacy Waldron, 26, whose eight-year-old daughter is a pupil, said: ‘I feel my child will be [seen as] racist if I don’t allow her to go. This is my choice, not hers, and she shouldn’t have to pay for it.’
South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson described the threat as ‘bonkers’ and ‘a very heavy-handed approach’.
He added: ‘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 not the child’s decision whether or not he or she attends.’
According to the letter sent last Wednesday, the visit is part of the National Curriculum for religious education and also reflects ‘the multi-cultural community in which we live’.