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Dad’s anger after Christian band ban

Six-year-old Eddie Thompson was left distressed when a teacher snapped off a religious band he was wearing around his ankle. He is pictured with his father Peter Thompson, 39.  Picture: Liz Mockler D3057LM

Six-year-old Eddie Thompson was left distressed when a teacher snapped off a religious band he was wearing around his ankle. He is pictured with his father Peter Thompson, 39. Picture: Liz Mockler D3057LM

AN angry dad has accused a school of discrimination after his son had a religious ankle band confiscated in the classroom.

Peter Thompson is refusing to send Eddie, six, back to Tickhill’s Estfeld Primary School until the situation over the Christian band, which carries a religiously symbolic image of a fish, is resolved.

He has made a series of complaints and is demanding an apology after the youngster was told he could not wear the item.

Mr Thompson told The Star his son had been wearing it around his ankle, concealed under his sock, for six months.

Mr Thompson, of Beech Avenue, Tickhill, said: “I couldn’t believe it when Eddie told me what had happened. He was so upset.

“He wears the band because he wants to feel that God is always with him.

“He has had it on for the past six months and makes sure it’s covered by his sock, so it’s not on display or posing any kind of risk.

“No one has said a thing about it all this time but one of the teachers spotted it when Eddie was scratching an itchy ankle and she took it away from him.

“When I complained about it to the school they were very blunt and said bands like this were banned.

“I think they’re discriminating against him because he’s a Christian. This is a symbol of his faith.”

Mr Thompson said the school had been selling rubber charity bands in summer.

“It doesn’t make sense to me. How can they say they’re banned but then sell them on school property?”

He added: “I don’t want his education to suffer but I don’t want to send him back yet and when he does go back I’m worried about how he will be treated.”

Headteacher Diane Risley, said: “The safety and well-being of all pupils is taken extremely seriously and the school has a clear uniform policy in place to help families understand what pupils can and cannot wear.

“While we do not comment on individual cases, any parent who has concerns is entitled to raise these with us directly.”

It follows a victory by airline worker Nadia Eweida, who won a court battle after being banned from wearing a crucifix at work.

Her case was upheld by European Court of Human Rights judges in Strasbourg who ruled the decision to express her faith warranted protection.

 

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