The concept of a scary primary school teacher is a difficult one to accept, but Lynn Small, Headmistress of Littleton Green Community School in Cannock, Staffordshire, certainly scares me.
Ahead of a proposed school trip to Staffordshire University as part of their religious eductation, Ms Hall wrote to the parents of the school children stating that:
"Refusal to allow your child to attend this trip will result in a Racial Discrimination note being attached to your child's education record, which will remain on this file throughout their school career."
I have no idea what a racial discrimation note is, how children as young as five may be given one, or who decides what effect such a note can have. Does it, for example, have a bearing on whether they can go to the secondary school of their choice? I do know I have read few things as scary, or as startling, since I last battled through one of the histories of Stalin's Soviet Union.
After complaints from parents, Ms Hall has withdrawn the letter and apologised. It would be nice to think Staffordshire County Council is also considering whether to withdraw her contract of employment - or do they keep a whole series of 'racial discrimination notes' against the names of young children as well?