Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Boy accused of racism wasn't actually accused of racism shock

Here's another 'political correctness gone mad' story that the Mail just loves. And loves to present in a way that doesn't appear to reflect the situation at all.

So the headline screams:

Boy, 9, told to apologise for 'racist' taunt to Polish classmate while playing soldiers in lesson

And the first line repeats:

A nine-year-old schoolboy was branded racist by teachers after playing a game of soldiers with a Polish friend, his parents have claimed.

Got it? Good.

Because it's not until the very last line of the story that the headteacher of the school is quoted saying:

' no point was the pupil accused of being racist.'


Here's what the Mail says happened:

Steven Cheek was reprimanded for pointing a finger at the Eastern European classmate and said: 'We've got to shoot the German army'.

Hard to find a racist element in that, although a school might be worried about kids pretending to shoot each other. Then there's a classic quote from the boy's mum, who says:

'I think the school has over-reacted and been very heavy-handed. They could have quietly told him off instead of turning it into a big issue.'

Yeh, wouldn't want it being turned into a big issue, would you? Taking the story to the press is the perfect way to quieten the situation down and turn attention away from your son.

There are other differences in the two accounts. The Mum claims:

he loved learning about the war in class

whereas the Head says:

The class had not been learning about the war.

Then the Mum claims the boy was:

forced him to stand in front of the class and make a humiliating apology.

The Head says:

The incident in question involved a short conversation with a pupil to explain the inappropriateness of his comments and then a meeting with the parent to explain the context.

Amazing that once again the Mail seems to know exactly who is right.

The vast majority of the comments on the story have taken the predictable 'can't be racist in your own country any more' type line, having clearly taken the view that the school is lying. Not surprising when the Mail has fed them the story that way, and most probably haven't read to the end before bashing out their knee-jerk reactions.



  1. "The deputy head shouted at Steven and said 'that's racism', which is ridiculous because he has a Polish aunt and they were on our side during the war."

    Because if they were on our side in the war, then it's not racism.

  2. Could you please provide sources for the information you have printed on this story? Where did you get the quotes you attribute to the Head which disputes the mother's version?

  3. S.D - The sources are always made clear on this blog and in this case it was the Mail story. That's why I said 'in the last line of the story'.

    However, since my post, the website article has been re-written and for some reason - no doubt not accidental - the quote ' no point was the pupil accused of being racist' has been removed.

    How convenient.

    If you Google that phrase, you will see it in the Sun and Express versions of the story, plus other sites where the Mail article was re-printed. Indeed, the second result on Google is the previous version of the Mail story and the quote is there for all to see.


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