A teachers’ union is claiming that parents who take their children out of religious education classes because they do not want them to learn about Islam are “racist.”
Concerns have been raised about parents abusing their right to take their children out of certain classes, allegedly impeding their ability to explore big issues and develop critical thinking skills. At the annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, it was stated that this went against the schools’ efforts to prepare young people for life in modern Britain.
The union is urging the government to take steps to ensure that parents do not selectively prevent their children from learning about certain religions, The Telegraph has reported. Richard Griffiths of the union’s Inner London branch said the motion was intended to ensure that this right is not abused in cases where parents may have “prejudices that include Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.”
Union Vice President Kim Knappett added that she had seen a letter from a parent requesting that her child be removed from religious studies. According to reports, the letter was so “vicious” that she believed that the authorities needed to be informed.