Police probe Crowland school bus racism claim
An allegation that two secondary school students from Crowland were racially abused while travelling on a school bus has shocked the town.
Police are investigating claims that the students, whose race is as yet unknown, were travelling between Crowland and The Deepings School when they were targeted in early February.
Details of the incident were posted on social media website Crowland Chatter on February 1, with both the school and Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) children’s services taking action against those responsible.
Richard Lord, headteacher of The Deepings School, said: “We were notified of an alleged incident on the school bus in February and were informed that the incident had been reported to the police.
“We understand that the police investigation is ongoing.
“The school does not tolerate any form of racism, or any other discriminatory behaviour, towards individuals, groups of students or members of the wider community.
The school does not tolerate any form of racism, or any other discriminatory behaviour, towards individuals, groups of students or members of the wider community
“Such incidents are, thankfully, rare in school but when they do occur, they are thoroughly investigated and recorded appropriately, with any identified perpetrators sanctioned in line with the school’s behaviour policy.”
The allegations were briefly discussed by Crowland parish councillors during a meeting last Monday.
After the meeting, Crowland parish and district councillor Bryan Alcock said: “I understand this disgraceful incident took place on the school bus and that the family has, understandably, been extremely upset by it.
“We believe the responsibility for conduct on the bus is with both LCC and The Deepings School. “The parish council has requested explanations from both organisations and await adequate responses as to how this was allowed to occur, what action has been taken and what is intended to prevent anything like this happening in the future.
“Whether there is any common connection between this and the other issues Crowland is wrestling with is not apparent. “But this sort of thing should never happen and whoever did it should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.”
Coun Nigel Pepper, county councillor for Crowland, said: “I was made fully aware of this matter at the time and, indeed, had some input as did, similarly, two of LCC’s executive members, LCC children’s services and the county’s public protection officer.
“Also the police, John Hayes, MP for South Holland and the Deepings, and Crowland Parish Council have all had a certain amount of involvement in a matter that was quite involved, complex, very sensitive and, to a degree, confidential too.”
David Robinson, children’s services commissioning manager at LCC, said: “We dealt with this matter and took appropriate action as soon as it was reported to us by the children’s parents in February.
“We have also used our own code of conduct which insists that no behaviour of this kind is acceptable on school transport and children found to be in breach of this code are refused home-to-school transport.
“Additionally, we have offered the family concerned alternative arrangements to ensure their children’s safety but understand they are making their own arrangements to transport the children to school.
“It is unacceptable for any child to be subjected to racial abuse and the school is also taking action to dealing with the perpetrators.
“Also, we understand the police are treating the matter as a crime.”