School bus drivers have been accused of racism after failing to stop for pupils wearing Muslim hijabs.
Young girls have claimed they are being bullied on board for dressing in the traditional veil which covers the head. To avoid trouble, “cowardly” drivers are allegedly ignoring pupils who wait at bus stops wearing the headscarf.
Following a police investigation, officers will now be drafted on to board the buses to protect the students from “racist” taunts of other passengers.
The problems centre on Merseytravel and pupils attending West Derby’s Holly Lodge Girls’ College in Merseyside, where 10 per cent of the 11,274 11 to 18-year-old students are from ethnic minorities.
Members of the Muslim community said the issue was a long-running one. Amina Ismail, who works at Liverpool John Moores University, was approached by the victims. She said: “They said people driving past were being abusive because they were wearing the hijab.”
Ms Ismail said bus drivers refusing to stop were “cowardly” and that “they should not push their own personal prejudices on young people”. She urged people to “see past the scarf or skin colour and look beyond this”.