THE father of a 10-year-old boy reported to police after mistakenly writing he lived in a 'terrorist' rather than 'terraced' house is demanding an apology from the school.

The 48-year-old driver was 'shocked' when he returned to their Accrington home to find his unwell son being interviewed by a constable and social worker over a piece of work written for class.


Now he wants the primary school head and the teacher concerned to make a written apology for referring his son to the police.

He wants them explain the mix-up to the whole school at morning assembly to stop his youngest child being bullied.

Lancashire Council of Mosques chairman Abdul Hamid Qureshi blamed the 'over-reaction' on fear of new government 'Prevent' guidelines to schools telling them to report potential radicalisation of young Muslims to the police.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The county council and police said the visit was neither part of the anti-terror and extremism strategy or caused solely by the spelling error.

Mr Qureshi's concerns were echoed by Hyndburn MP Graham Jones and East Lancashire National Union of Teacher's representative Simon Jones.

In the work, the boy answered a series of questions from the teacher by writing: 'I hate it when my uncle beats me' and 'I live in a terrorist house with my uncle'.

He also said: 'I would love to meet Cristiano Ronaldo'.

The father, who wishes only to be known as Mohammed, said: "This was clearly a mistake. My son meant 'terraced' and had been asked to be creative.

"He has never been hit by his uncle and the school know he lives with his parents.

"This was heavy-handed. What was needed was common sense.

"My son cannot sleep. I cannot sleep. My wife cannot sleep.

"He is being bullied in the playground. Some days he does not want to go to school and is afraid he might not be allowed into high school.

"I want a written apology from the teacher and the head and for them to go into a full assembly and explain a mistake was made.

"My son went to school, did this piece of work and came home sick. He was in bed with flu.

"When I came home I found him with a police officer and a social worker. I was shocked.

"The police officer took his laptop and the officer came back 45 minutes later and said everything was all right.

"My son is very disturbed. We all are.

"We are a very peaceful family with no links to politics.

"He had never written anything like this before.

"I don't want this to happen to any other Muslim family."

Mr Qureshi said: "This was appalling. It was an over-reaction.

"This is the result of the government's Prevent strategy which is intimidating people into reporting things.

"The family deserve a full apology.

"This type of thing has happened elsewhere but it is the first case I know of in Lancashire."

A joint statement from Lancashire County Council and Lancashire Police said: "It is completely untrue to suggest this situation was brought about by a simple spelling mistake.

"The school and the police have acted responsibly and proportionately in looking into a number of potential concerns using a low-key, local approach. "No concerns were identified and no further action was required by any agency."

MP Mr Jones said: "I have written to the Home Secretary Theresa May, the school and the Lancashire education authority about this.

"This was clearly a phonetic misspelling and a mistake was made.

"There is a balance to be struck between vigilance and sensitivity and in this case they got the balance wrong."

Simon Jones said: “This is an overreaction by the school.

“Schools are under a lot of pressure and the fear is making them make poor decisions sometimes.”

Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: "The facts are that a young person disclosed a worrying issue in his school work - not just that he lived in a 'terrorist house'.

"This was reported through the appropriate channels and subsequently a visit was undertaken by a neighbourhood police officer and a social worker.

"This was not responded to as a terror incident."