A mother in England says her 10-year-old son wasn’t allowed to drink water in class because his teacher didn’t think it would be fair to students fasting for Ramadan.
Kora Blagden told the Belfast Telegraph her son Luke, a student at Charles Dickens Primary School in Hampshire, came home Thursday and said he wasn’t able to drink water during what was one of the hottest days of the year.
“We were talking last night before bed about Ramadan and my son Luke came out that he wasn’t allowed to drink at school,” Blagden told the newspaper. “I said, ‘Hang on, why aren’t you allowed to drink at school?’”
“He said his class teacher refused it because one of the kids was fasting, I think quite a few were fasting, but one in particular had a headache. They said it would be unfair if the other pupils were to drink in front of that child, Luke agreed and he took it that he couldn’t drink water all day.”
During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, observers refrain from food and drink during the daylight hours.
“I do not agree with it, by not allowing Luke to drink because it would be unfair on other children therefore makes it unfair on my child. I am not racist, I respect their religion if that is what they want to do, but do not force it on my child,” Blagden said.
Blagden said she complained to the assistant principal who told her the incident never should have happened. Her son received a formal apology afterward.
“We do everything that we can to ensure the welfare of all of our children and we would never prevent them from having access to water. In this case, water was available and pupils were just reminded to be respectful to their classmates who were unable to drink in this hot weather,” principal Craig Duncan told the Telegraph.