Schools bans famous tale
Sky News, Mar. 4, 2003
The infant school axed the famous children’s book and other stories referring to swine to avoid upsetting its predominantly Muslim pupils.
Parents of children at Park Road Junior Infant and Nursery school in Batley, West Yorkshire, discovered the ban after spotting that words relating to pigs had been removed from homework sheets.
The school defended its decision in a statement: “Recently the headteacher has been aware of an occasion where young Muslim children in a class were read stories about pigs.
“This could have caused offence to religious sensitivities.”
The ban, which extends only to classes of under-seven-year-olds, has attracted criticism from leading British Muslims.
But Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain told The Sun: “This is bizarre – there is nothing to stop children from reading about pigs.
“The ban is simply on the consumption of pork and pig products.”
Religious leader Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra told the paper: “It is rather sad. Muslims would not find the Three Little Pigs offensive.”
The school’s headteacher Barbara Harris stressed the books removed from the schools youngest classes remained in the library and are still available for older pupils to read.
She said: “I very much regret that anyone should find this controversial as all we are doing is trying hard and reasonably successfully, to ensure that all of our children are awarded the respect that all human beings deserve.”