A Catholic primary school in the Midlands reported a seven-year-old Muslim pupil to police after mistaking a piece of brass the boy had for a bullet.
The boy was “very distressed and intimidated” when two officers were sent to his home to try to interview him, his mother told Tell Mama, a charity that monitors Islamophobia.
St Edward’s school in Birmingham contacted police after the boy claimed a brass cylinder was a bullet for a rifle and told teachers his teenage brother, who had been on an army cadet course, had held a weapon.
The boy’s mother, who has not been named but is an academic at a West Midlands university, said her child would not have been reported to police if he were not a Muslim.
Angry that the school failed to tell her it had contacted police, she refused to let officers question her son when they visited her home last month.
Speaking to Tell Mama, the mother said: “It immediately became apparent that neither the school nor the police thought it was a real bullet, yet nobody thought to use some common sense. Instead it was unduly escalated and left my seven-year-old very distressed and intimidated that police officers were insisting to question him directly.
“It is ridiculous that no one used any common sense and that it was ever taken any further by both the school and the police.
“I am also very angry about the way the matter was escalated. They – the school and the police – were heavy-handed and placed undue suspicion on a seven-year-old. They caused him a lot of distress that could have been avoided. They left him mistrusting his teachers after they told him it would be a matter to discuss only with parents and they dealt with us as parents in a way they would not deal with non-Muslim parents.”