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Primary school backtracks after threatening ‘racial discrimination note’ for missing Islam workshop

"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,” the headteacher wrote.
Thu Dec 5, 2013 - 1:27 pm EST

STAFFORDSHIRE, UK, December 5, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The head of a primary school in the UK sparked uproar late last month after informing parents that their children were required to attend a field trip to “explore other religions” or else she would insert a “racial discrimination note” in their school records.

In a November 20 letter, Lynn Small of Littleton Green Community School in Staffordshire said the November 27 trip to an “Explore Islam” workshop was part of a “statutory requirement” to study other cultures.

"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,” she wrote.

"All absences on this day will be investigated for their credibility and will only be sanctioned with a GP sick note,” she added.

After complaints by parents and intervention from the Staffordshire County Council, Small backed off the threat of a “racial discrimination note,” saying that section of the letter was “badly worded.”

"While keen for all children to benefit from the workshop, I realize my letter was badly worded and it was certainly not my intention to upset any families,” she wrote in a letter to parents. "I contacted parents to apologize, which they have accepted. I have made it clear that no notes will be made on records, and parents are of course free to choose whether their child participates in the trip."

According to the Warwick Courier, a spokesman for the Staffordshire County Council said Small’s actions were inappropriate. While they support teaching children about other cultures, he said, “parents also have a right to withdraw their children from religious activities if they choose to.”

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"We strongly advised the school to contact parents immediately to explain this and to confirm no notes will be made on any of the pupil's records if their parents choose not to attend the visit and this has now been done,” the spokesman added.


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