A BOY of seven is facing accusations of racism after asking a fellow pupil if he was “brown because he was from Africa”.
Elliott Dearlove asked the question of the five-year-old boy at Griffin Primary School in Barham Road, east Hull.
Elliott Dearlove and mum
Elliott Dearlove and mum
The younger boy’s mother complained to the school, which launched an investigation.
Elliott’s mother, Hayley White, 29, says she received a phone call to say her son had been at the centre of a “racist incident”.
She was summoned to the school by her son’s teacher, where she was read the school’s zero-tolerance policy on racism.
Miss White, an NHS healthcare worker, said: “Elliott does not even know the meaning of the word racist.
“The policy made clear that racism would not be tolerated.
“But this was not racism. It was simply curiosity from a seven-year-old boy, nothing more.”
Miss White said her son was left in tears after she spoke to him.
She said: “Elliott kept saying to me, ‘I was just asking a question. I didn’t mean it to be nasty’.
“He was extremely distressed by it all.”
Miss White says she was led to the head teacher’s office, where she was asked to sign a form.
“The form said my son had made a racist remark,” she said.
“I refused to sign it. I told the teacher I did not agree the comment was racist.
“My son is inquisitive. He always likes to asks questions. But that does not make him a racist.”
Since the incident, Elliott dislikes going to school, according to his mother.
She said: “He is bright, not a trouble-maker at all.
“This has really affected him. I am trying to pull out of that school.
“I am disgusted and extremely upset. I want him to go to another school.”
In a statement, head teacher Janet Adamson said: “We are unable to discuss conduct issues relating to individual children.
“However, in this matter, we are satisfied we have acted in accordance with the council’s guidance for schools on the reporting of racist incidents.”
Vanessa Harvey-Samuel, head of localities and learning at Hull City Council, said: “There is a statutory duty to report any incident that is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person.
“The council’s policy is informed by Ofsted’s guidance on the inspection framework for schools in England.”
Abel Rivera, chief officer of Humber All Nations Alliance, which works with 38 different ethnic groups in Hull to encourage race equality, backed the school.
He said: “The school has to follow its racism policy.
“The boy has singled another pupil out on the basis of his colour. That is discrimination and it’s wrong.”
According to the school’s latest Ofsted inspection, children are taught to be culturally aware.
Inspectors said: “Pupils are reflective in response to thought-assemblies and personal and social education lessons.
“As a result, they have a good understanding of social and moral issues, such as racial intolerance.”