A ten year-old Muslim boy has been questioned by police after mistakenly writing that he lives in a ‘terrorist house’ in a piece of school work.
The unnamed schoolboy, who attends primary school in Lancashire, meant to write that he in lived in a ‘terraced house’, say the Independent.
Lancashire police interviewed the boy at his home and examined the family laptop, after the spelling mistake was reported by his teacher in December last year.
Currently all teachers are legally obliged to report any and all suspected extremist behaviour, under new counter-terrorism measures introduced by the Government in July.
In an interview with the BBC, a cousin said the family wanted an apology from the police and the school, saying the boy was now too scared ‘[to write] using his imagination’.
You can imagine it happening to a 30-year-old man, but not to a young child. If the teacher had any concerns it should have been about his spelling… They shouldn’t be putting a child through this.Advertisement
The school said it was unable to comment because it was investigating a complaint made about the incident.
In a statement to the BBC Lancashire Police said:
This was reported to the police but was dealt with by a joint visit by a PC from the division and social services, not by anyone from Prevent [the Home Office’s anti-extremism strategy].
There were not thought to be any areas for concern and no further action was required by any agency.
The young boy isn’t the only Muslim this has happened to – Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said he was aware of dozens of similar cases.
Just a few months ago a ten year old in Birmingham was investigated after he complained there wasn’t a prayer room on a residential trip.
Last year 1,355 people aged under 18 were referred to the Home Office’s de-radicalisation programme, compared to just 466 in 2014.