Support for refusal to participate in school visit to mosque

A teenager who refused to participate in a school trip to a mosque said she is proud her mother has made a stand. Fourteen-year-old Amy Owen, of Bodiam Court, Ellesmere Port, was one of a number of Ellesmere Port Catholic High School pupils who opted out of a scheduled trip to the Al Rahma Mosque in Toxteth, Liverpool, last week. The excursion was intended to involve all Year Nine students, split into three groups on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Amy, whose mother Michelle Davis spoke about her frustration over the “compulsory” nature of the trip, said: “I am proud that my mum stands up for what she believes in and she has taught me to do exactly the same. I did not wish to go on the field trip to Al Rahma mosque for various reasons, the main one being the list of instructions that was sent home and the fact I had to wear what a Muslim girl would wear. I think it’s a shame that we had to dress this way in order to visit the mosque.”

Miss Davis claims that up to 10 female pupils did not take part in the trip. She is angry that the school refused to provide alternative arrangements and will mark all those involved as an “unauthorised absence”, unless a doctor’s note can be provided. She said: “It’s one day on her record, so I’m not too worried and I’m glad that we stuck to the principle.”

Kirsty Ashworth, of Ellesmere Port, whose daughter Charlie Sheen, 14, was also due to take part, said: “I didn’t see the educational benefit of the trip. I can’t see how it would help her get a job or anything like that. I’m not racist or anything but I live in England, I send my daughter to an English speaking catholic school, so I don’t see why she should go to a mosque.”

Ellesmere Port Pioneer, 5 May 2010