The parents of a five-year-old Sikh boy have said they are ‘deeply hurt’ after their son allegedly had his hair cut off by bullies at school.
Details of the incident were posted by the family on social media and shared on Twitter by Sikh Federation UK, which described the alleged bullying as ‘totally unacceptable and devastating.’
The young boy is said to have been at Alexandra McLeod Primary School in Abbey Wood, South East London, when ‘someone in school… cut his hairs with scissors’.
The parents of the five year old stressed they had never cut their son’s hair before, with Sikh Federation UK noting that for a Sikh boy to have ‘his sacred unshorn hair’ cut is ‘one of the worst possible [anti-Sikh hate] crimes.’
In the wake of the incident, the child was said to have been ‘really upset’ and told his parents he did not want to go to school any more. The post indicated the haircut was performed by one of the five-year-old’s classmates, as the parents questioned: ‘I don’t understand from where a reception student can get scissors.’
Describing the alleged bullying as ‘shameful’, they added: ‘We are really scared to send him to school. Don’t know what to do to secure him in future.’
Staff at Alexandra McLeod Primary School have responded to the incident and said it took place when ‘most of the staff had left.’
In a statement cited by MyLondon, the school said:
In response to messages received: An incident was reported late Friday afternoon after the children and most staff had left. A meeting had already been arranged with the parents of the child.
Please trust that the matter will be investigated thoroughly and fairly.
In an effort to make officials aware of the incident, Sikh Federation UK tagged Gavin Williamson, Secretary of State for Education, and requested an ‘urgent meeting’ to discuss the ‘shocking case’ and other instances of anti-Sikh bullying in UK schools.
The organisation added: ‘We offer our full support to the family and will push the school and authorities to investigate fully.’
Councillor Jas Atwal, the Sikh leader of Redbridge Council in east London, described himself as being ‘sickened’ to hear of the events, writing: ‘Appalling to see this happen to anyone, let alone a five-year-old.’
After news of the incident was shared online, social media users rallied around the family to show their support.
If you’ve been affected by bullying and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Bullying UK (part of Family Lives) on 0808 800 2222. The helpline service is open 9am–9pm Monday to Friday and 10am–3pm Saturday and Sunday.
Sikh Federation UK/Twitter
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