Earlier this week we wrote about a 10-year-old Muslim boy in Lancashire who was allegedly visited by officers after writing that he lived in a ‘terrorist’ house instead of a ‘terraced’ house.
However, the Lancashire Telegraph have reported that the simple misspelling wasn’t the reason the police visited the family and that they were not interrogated as potential terrorists.
Instead the police visited the family because one of the answers in the homework read, ‘I hate it when my uncle hits me’. Upon investigation though no concerns were identified and no further action was taken.
The student had written 'I hate it when my uncle beats me' and 'I live in a terrorist house with my uncle'. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/j8rPUZ2UC0
— Steve Rose (@steveplrose) January 21, 2016
The boy’s father, Mohammed, told the paper he thought the school’s response was ‘heavy handed’ adding: “He has never been hit by his uncle and the school knows he lives with his parents.”
The story was originally reported by BBC Lancashire and the Lancashire Constabulary’s police and crime commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, has now written to them about their reporting, which he said had damaged local relations.
A statement from Lancashire Police said:
It is completely untrue to suggest this situation was brought about by a simple spelling mistake.
The school and the police have acted responsibly and proportionately in looking into a number of potential concerns using a low-key, local approach.
The BBC have said in reply to the complaint that the reporting had been in the public interest.
A BBC spokesman said:
The BBC has a duty to report challenging stories in a responsible way. We firmly believe this story was in the public interest and that we acted properly.
We reported the facts in good faith and after taking appropriate steps to check them with the authorities involved.
The boy’s family are demanding that both the school and police apologise for the incident.