November 23, 2013
Parents have criticised a school after children as young as eight were told they would be punished for racism if they did not attend a religious workshop about Islam.
Angry mums and dads were sent a letter by Littleton Green Community School, in Huntingdon, Staffordshire, 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.
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.
Parents have criticised 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.
“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.”