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To think this shows how badly thought-out the Prevent scheme is?

(18 Posts)
Megatherium Fri 27-Jan-17 21:26:17

www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jan/27/bedfordshire-local-education-authority-admits-racial-discrimination-brothers-toy-gun-school-police?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

In summary, two boys aged 7 and 5 of mixed Indian and Middle-Eastern origin were questioned by the police after one of them told a teacher he had been given a toy gun as a present. The teacher said that she had no concerns, but it looks as if the governors overrode her The police relatively quickly established that there was no reason to believe that the present was anything other than entirely innocent. Their mother complained on the basis that no-one would have contemplated reporting a white boy who said this, and the council has now accepted that there was racial discrimination and agreed to pay damages.

Good outcome, but really this nonsense should never have happened in the first place - I do hope schools generally take note.

AllPowerfulLizardPerson Fri 27-Jan-17 21:32:25

As they explicitly say 'was not in a Prevent capacity, but routine police attendance' I think you thread title is misleading.

Racism needs tackling, but not by muddling it up with Prevent

OlennasWimple Fri 27-Jan-17 21:38:01

What AllPowerful said. Plus worth bearing in mind that referrals for far-right / white supremicist extremism are growing fast (a quarter of all Prevent referrals last year, I think from memory), so it isn't nearly as straight-forward as the governors and police being rascist

ghostyslovesheets Fri 27-Jan-17 21:43:26

This was a mumsnetter - does anyone else remember her post a while back

Bloody ridiculous behaviour by the school

PuntCuffin Fri 27-Jan-17 22:03:02

I remember the thread. It was very upsetting. Am sure that the police were specifically called as the mother was kept away from the children while they were questioned.

ghostyslovesheets Fri 27-Jan-17 22:12:29

Yes that was it - the kids were kept away for a few hours and questioned by ss

Megatherium Fri 27-Jan-17 22:39:59

AllPowerful, it isn't about the police's actions, it's the school's. According to the report, "The school’s governors found teachers were unsure if they had a duty to report their concerns under Prevent, the government’s anti-radicalisation strategy, and called Bedfordshire police."

Zafodbeeblbrox10 Fri 27-Jan-17 22:52:01

Overzealous dicks.. the world we now live in is full of them!

MiscellaneousAssortment Fri 27-Jan-17 23:04:28

I remember that the mother was let away from her children, and I think that the children were questioned without their family present or legal representation. All very dodgy.

SpiritedLondon Fri 27-Jan-17 23:14:31

I can't possibly see how the school felt that there were grounds to refer this to the police. However once the police have been notified its difficult for them to dismiss it without speaking to the children. Obviously the children weren't " suspects" so the police are entirely able to speak to them without the requirement for a parent present ( otherwise how would you investigate child abuse?). It's such a shame though and don't think it's very typical of the Prevent initiative.

Megatherium Sat 28-Jan-17 00:36:15

It seems reasonably clear the school thought there were grounds because of the colour of the children's skin. I agree that the police weren't at fault and I assume they had a responsible adult there.

Nataleejah Sat 28-Jan-17 02:28:30

I imagine white kids would be pulled up for being 'white supremacists'. Just then it would be impossible to claim its 'racial discrimination'

Itisnoteasybeingdifferent Sat 28-Jan-17 06:06:40

To me, this shows a problem with the callibre of the people who decided to get the police and SS involved.

Lulooo Sat 28-Jan-17 06:21:10

Over zealous reporting under the Prevent strategy will do more harm than good. Not only will it incite alienation in young Muslims who are normal law abiding citizens, it also creates a premise of suspicion and discrimination amongst the public which gradually will lead to justification of widespread racism and prejudice. This is not in line with British values.

SmileEachDay Sat 28-Jan-17 07:40:40

I worked in a school where one of our young people absconded and tried to get to Syria.
Fortunately she was stopped before she left the country. It was awful.

The training received by schools under the Prevent agenda is very inconsistent, despite the fact that schools are often an important agency in identifying radicalisation because they see children every day, so are well position to identify issues early, which is the point.

There is no way this should have been reported. It's not even vaguely connected to anything connected with how radicalisation works. It suggests an inexperienced member of staff who had perhaps recently had some low quality Prevent training and was on "high alert". Sounds like the police reacted appropriately and sensibly, which is good.

Cheby Sat 28-Jan-17 07:50:11

I've done the Prevent training in a health setting, there is no way I would assume that I would need to report a child receiving a toy gun as a present.

The fault here is not with the strategy but with the idiotic interpretation of it by the staff at the school. Which was most likely driven by their underlying racial prejudices.

I remember the thread too, such an awful situation.

OlennasWimple Sat 28-Jan-17 10:35:57

I can imagine the conversation went something along the lines of

Class teacher: "Abdul has just told me that he got given a toy gun as a present. Am I supposed to report that under that Prevent thingy that we were trained on last month?"

Other teacher: "I don't know. You better tell the head and the safeguarding lead"

Head and safeguarding lead: "I don't know what to do, better tell the governor with oversight of safeguarding"

Governor: "Are we supposed to report this? Better safe than sorry, let's call the police and make a referral"

All a bit of a mess. Looks like the LEA have now sorted out their guidance to make the process clearer, though

PandoraMole Sat 28-Jan-17 11:37:55

It sounds the governors need to renew their Prevent training.

IIRC (and I only did the course in July), it makes quite clear the difference between individual things that might raise an eyebrow and consistent/multiple indicators of and vulnerability to, possible radicalisation.

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