October 14th, 2006, 14:24 PM
Schoolgirl arrested for refusing to study with non-English pupils
A teenage schoolgirl was arrested by police for racism after refusing to sit with a group of Asian students because some of them did not speak English.
Codie Stott's family claim she was forced to spend three-and-a-half hours in a police cell after she was reported by her teachers.
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The 14-year-old - who was released without charge - said it had been a simple matter of commonsense and accused the school and police of an over-the-top reaction.
The incident happened in the same local education authority where a ten-year-old boy was prosecuted earlier this year for calling a schoolfriend racist names in the playground, a move branded by a judge "political correctness gone mad."
Codie was attending a GCSE science class at Harrop Fold High School in Worsley, Greater Manchester, when the incident happened.
The teenager had not been in school the day before due to a hospital appointment and had missed the start of a project, so the teacher allocated her a group to sit with.
Why didn't the teacher put her in a group where she could communicate? And why are non-English speaking pupils in classrooms where English is used as the primary means of communication? Shouldn't they be in some sort of ESL/EFL support classroom?