A young Muslim boy’s spelling error has been probed by police after he wrote that he lived in a ‘terrorist house’. The primary school pupil, aged 10, intended to write that he lived in a ‘terraced house’. However his error, which was made during English class, had to be probed by police officers.
The unnamed pupil, who attends a primary school in Accrington, Lancashire, was later interviewed by police.
His family’s laptop was also searched by specialist officers.
Since July, teachers in the UK are legally obliged to report any suspected extremist behaviour to the authorities, however the boy’s family say they are shocked.
His cousin, who has not been named, said the fact that the spelling error was probed by police officers is a “joke”.
“You can imagine it happening to a 30-year-old man, but not to a young child. “If the teacher had any concerns it should have been about his spelling. “They shouldn’t be putting a child through this. “He’s now scared of writing, using his imagination.”
The teacher was legally obliged to report the incident, which took place on December 7 last year, under the 2015 Counter Terrorism and Security Act.
Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said:
“There are huge concerns that individuals going about their daily life are being seen through the lens of security and are being seen as potential terrorists rather than students.
“This is a natural consequence of the extension of the ‘Prevent Duty’ to schools.”
In a statement, Lancashire Police said: “This was reported to the police but was dealt with by a joint visit by a PC from the division and social services, not by anyone from Prevent.
“There were not thought to be any areas for concern and no further action was required by any agency.”