Lynn Small, the headteacher (principal) of Littleton Green Community School in Staffordshire, gave parents of the children attending the school two options: 1: Pay £5 (about $10) to send your children to a workshop on Islam, or 2: Have the permanent school records of their children branded with the hate-phrase “racial discrimination”.
Parents were warned that ‘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.
South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson said the threat was “a very heavy-handed approach”, going on to say that “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.”
Parents the threat to the pupils aged between 8 and 11 was “ludicrous”. One woman 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.
Another parent said: ‘I feel my child will be racist if I don’t allow her to go. This is my choice, not hers, and she shouldn’t have to pay for it.’
The letter sent Wednesday 20th of November said the visit is part of the National Curriculum for religious education and reflects “the multi-cultural community in which we live”.
“It is a statutory requirement for primary school children to experience and learn about different cultures.
“The workshop will give your child the opportunity to explore other religions.”
A revised letter sent out the day after apologised for “inaccuracies” and told parents to “disregard a section from the earlier letter.”
Headteacher (Prinicipal) Lynn Small 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.”
“We have pupils and teachers who belong to the Islam faith and it is right for the children to understand and appreciate their faith as well as their own.”