You are here: Home » International » News » Politics
Business Standard

Indian-origin UK principal branded as 'Hitler' for efforts to ban hijab

Neena Lall, Indian origin headteacher of St. Stephen's school London, was forced to reverse her decision to impose a ban on Hijab for very young students after facing immense cricitism

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Representative image

An Indian-origin principal atones of the UK's leading state-funded schools has been branded as "Hitler" on over her efforts to ban the 'hijab' for very young students.

Neena Lall, the headteacher of St Stephen's School in Newham, east London, was forced to reverse the decision to impose a ban on the or girls aged under eight earlier this month after widespread criticism.

But a video, circulating on this weekend, portrays her as the German dictator and the school's former of governors as Russian dictator Stalin, with other management team shown as Hitler's acolytes.

"It is a very good school. Neena is a very good headteacher," one of the school's governors told the Sunday Times' in defence of the

At a meeting of the parents and the school management on Monday attended by local Stephen Timms

Lall was forced to apologise as she confirmed the reversal of the governing body's previously approved a ban on hijabs for very young pupils.

"The school's uniform policy is based on the health, safety and welfare of our children. The school has taken the decision to make changes to this policy with immediate effect and this follows on from conversations with our school community," the school said in a statement.

"We will work with our school community to continue to review this policy going forward in the best interests of our children," it added.

The school, with a majority of pupils from Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi backgrounds, had earlier urged the to issue clear guidelines on the issue of hijab- wearing and religious fasting relating to very young pupils to prevent a backlash from parents.

Arif Qawi, the of governors, had resigned from his post last week following offensive messages posted on against him and Lall.

'The Sunday Times' indicated he is prepared to return as if ministers give a clear signal that they will support the school's right to set policy, including a uniform code.Campaigners believe that making very young girls wear the Hijabis wrong because itis traditionally not worn until puberty.

Under the UK's Department for guidelines, uniform policy is a matter for individual head teachers and their governing bodies.But it did express concerns over intimidation via social media.

"Intimidation or bullying towards school staff or pupils is unacceptable. Anyone who feels they are facing either should report it to police," a said.

In November 2017, St Stephen's School had topped a prestigious primary schools league table published by annually.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 28 2018. 19:29 IST