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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.
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.
“She said I had to sit there with five Asian pupils,” said Codie yesterday.
“Only one could speak English, so she had to tell that one what to do so she could explain in their language. Then she sat me with them and said ‘Discuss’.”
According to Codie, the five – four boys and a girl – then began talking in a language she didn’t understand, thought to be Urdu, so she went to speak to the teacher.
“I said ‘I’m not being funny, but can I change groups because I can’t understand them?’ But she started shouting and screaming, saying ‘It’s racist, you’re going to get done by the police’.”
Codie said she went outside to calm down where another teacher found her and, after speaking to her class teacher, put her in isolation for the rest of the day.
A complaint was made to a police officer based full-time at the school, and more than a week after the incident on September 26 she was taken to Swinton police station and placed under arrest.
“They told me to take my laces out of my shoes and remove my jewellery, and I had my fingerprints and photograph taken,” said Codie. “It was awful.”
After questioning on suspicion of committing a section five racial public order offence, her mother Nicola says she was placed in a bare cell for three-and-a-half hours then released without charge.
Doesn’t sound like the girl was being racist, does it? But even if she was being racist, the idea that you can get arrested in the UK for having such an attitude is appalling. As the saying goes around here, I may not like what you have to say, but I support your right to say it. For example, I think Charlie Rangel is one of the biggest racists out there, but that doesn’t mean he should be arrested for it.
As BCB says, this is political correctness gone mad, not to mention a waste of valuable administrative time for school and law enforcement with the arrest, and now an investigation on the part of the school in order to determine what, if any other, punishment Codie must face. An investigation?
Furthermore, why doesn’t every student in that class know English? Probably for the same reason some students here in America don’t know either: they’re not obligated to assimilate, so why bother? We’ll make it easier on them by making it tougher on ourselves.
This guy gets it right:
Last night Robert Whelan, deputy director of the Civitas think-tank, said: “It’s obviously common sense that pupils who don’t speak English cause problems for other pupils and for teachers.”
“I’m sure this sort of thing happens all the time, but it’s a sad reflection on the school if they can’t deal with it without involving the police.”
“A lot of these arrests don’t result in prosecutions – they aim is to frighten us into self-censorship until we watch everything we say.”
Bingo. Of course, the only thing different between what happens there and here is that students don’t actually get arrested for saying or doing something that is not politically correct to say or do. They’re just made to feel so guilty and ashamed about it that they start exercising self-censorship themselves so they don’t have to worry about getting in trouble for ‘offending’ anyone.
Hat tip: LGF