Residents held a candle-lit protest at a school’s open evening alleging racism amongst pupils. But the headteacher of Thornhill Community Science College, Jonny Mitchell, said the claims were unsubstantiated.
Around 12 protesters met outside the school in Valley Drive as it held an open evening. Organiser Shaun Maddox said: “There is no community cohesion here at all. There seems to be a barrier between the white community and the Muslim community.” He said he had heard several allegations of Asian pupils attacking white pupils. Mr Maddox, of Valley Road, Thornhill, said: “We need to address these issues and have an open public debate.”
After the protest, Mr Mitchell said: “It’s a concern that people are telling untruths and making these unsubstantiated claims.” Mr Mitchell said that a very small proportion of fights amongst current pupils were reported as racially motivated. He said:
“Since the start of the year there have been five fights, if you can call them that, and none have been reported as racially motivated. You can look at it two ways when an Asian pupil and a white pupil have a fight. The public perception of that may be that it is racist, but it might be that they simply disagree about something.”
Mr Mitchell said that pupils from different ethnic backgrounds were encouraged to work together and mixed at break times.