Child’s Spelling Error Leads to Police Questioning

A 10-year-old Muslim boy made a truly unfortunate spelling error at his UK school and ended up getting interviewed by police. The boy meant to write, as part of an English lesson, that he lived in a “terraced house,” but accidentally wrote instead that he lived in a “terrorist house.” The police stopped by the aforementioned house the following day and even examined the family laptop, and now the boy’s family says it wants an apology for the December incident, the BBC reports.

“You can imagine it happening to a 30-year-old man, but not to a young child,” his cousin tells the BBC. “If the teacher had any concerns it should have been about his spelling.” Since July, as part of the UK’s 2015 Counter Terrorism and Security Act, teachers have been legally obligated to report behavior that could be extremist, and some critics of the law say teachers are overreacting out of fear. The school is investigating a complaint filed about the incident, and police say that after the initial visit, “no further action was required.”

A 10-year-old Muslim boy's homework

In a statement, police and the county council said it was “untrue to suggest that this situation was brought about by a simple spelling mistake”.

“The school and the police have acted responsibly and proportionately in looking into a number of potential concerns using a low-key, local approach,” it said.

“No concerns were identified and no further action was required by any agency.”

Teachers have been legally obliged to report any suspected extremist behaviour to police since July.

“They shouldn’t be putting a child through this. He’s now scared of writing, using his imagination.

“From what he says he wrote it because he was trying to write ‘terraced house’ and he misspelt it.”

Police and crime commissioner Clive Grunshaw criticised the BBC reporting of the issue and said it had not been treated as a terror incident.

Mr Grunshaw said that other worrying issues were raised in the boy’s school work – not just the “terrorist” house line – and these were “reported through the appropriate channels”.

“In the event there was no further action needed, but if the school and police had not acted then they would have been failing in their duty to respond to concerns.”

The 2015 Counter Terrorism and Security Act places a statutory duty on schools and colleges to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.




Child’s Spelling Error Leads to Police Questioning

2 replies on “Child’s Spelling Error Leads to Police Questioning”

This not what happened. The concern was caused by the boy saying his uncle beat him. The school had a statutory obligation.

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