There have been a number of reports of schools and teachers in England showing hostility towards children who express support for Palestine. We are not aware of any such incidents in Scotland, but we think it likely that some incidents will have occurred. If so, we want to hear about them and we can give support to those affected.
Problematic incidents could include hostile or prejudiced remarks by school staff, unjustified accusations of anti-semitism, comments intended to discourage children from organising or participating in demonstrations or from promoting BDS, disciplinary action (or threats of it), referrals to Prevent (or threats of it), or any other intervention by police. Muslim children appear to have been particularly targeted in England over support for Palestine, but children of any faith or ethnicity could be affected.
All such incidents are unacceptable. Children should feel safe and supported by their school when discussing political matters and should be able to express their own views without fear of adverse consequences.
We at SACC will do our best to provide advice and support to anyone experiencing these problems in Scotland. Whether or not support is needed, we would appreciate any information that would help us gain a picture of the situation in Scotland.
If you are the parent of a child who has been affected in Scotland please get in touch. If you know of any incidents, please get in touch even if you or your family are not directly affected. If you know people who may be affected, please share this page with them.
For general advice if you or your child are approached in connection with Prevent, see Know Your Rights under Prevent (bottom line: Don't engage with Prevent. If you feel you must engage, consult a lawyer).
CAGE, MEND and Preventwatch are all offering support for people across the UK who find themselves targeted by Prevent over support for Palestine. These organisations are excellent. But if you have been affected by this issue in Scotland, please let us know about it even if you are in contact with another organisation too.
We at SACC are not lawyers. Guidance published on our website is not a substitute for legal advice. If in doubt, consult a lawyer experienced in these matters. If you need legal representation we may be able to help you obtain it.
Photo: Children marched from the Gaza Strip's International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) headquarters to the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) office in a demonstration for Palestinian national football player and detained hunger striker Mahmoud Sarsak, 4 June 2012. © Joe Catron, some rights reserved.