The disgraceful letter copied below was sent to parents of children attending a primary school, Littleton Green, in Staffordshire, a few days ago.
I have emphasized the most shocking and unacceptable parts of the missive.
One understands that the county education authority have already required the school’s principal to retract her threat to brand any children (not literally in this case) who failed to attend the ‘workshop’ on Islam as ‘racist’.
But this is far from an adequate response. The teacher concerned, Mrs Lynn Small, should be immediately dismissed for gross misconduct. Anything less than this is a further insult to the children and parents who have been affected by her sinister bullying.
Why did Mrs Small feel the need to take the oppressive line she took in her letter to parents? Had there been a certain degree of passive resistance on the part of parents to their children attending such Islamic indoctrination sessions (and paying five pounds per child for the dubious privilege) in the past? Did Mrs Small feel that it was time to let the parents know just who was boss, as if they were a classroom full of unruly children?
In the Middle Ages and into the early modern era in this country, one could be fined for failing to attend church. Are we now seeing the beginning of the jizya, the fine imposed upon non-believers by an Islamic state?
I wonder what the reaction of Muslim parents would have been on receiving a letter requiring their children to attend a workshop on Christianity, on pain of their children being labelled as ‘racists’ for the remainder of their time in formal education.
It is utterly unacceptable that the National Religious Education Curriculum should impose a mandatory requirement for children to “experience and learn about different cultures [read religions]”. But if the unacceptable is indeed the law, then it must be applied impartially and Muslim parents must also be coerced into allowing their children to attend workshops on Christianity and be charged a similar sum of money for the privilege.
If you wish to telephone the school and let them know how you feel about Mrs Small’s behaviour, here is their number: 01543 511020. Please remember to be courteous.
As part of the National Religious Education Curriculum together with the multicultural community in which we live [sic], 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 with a GP sick note.
If you would like to discuss this further please contact our RE Coordinator, Mrs Edmonds.