Police charge teacher at Birmingham school with religiously aggravated harassment

Heartlands Academy in Birmingham

A Birmingham school at the centre of discrimination allegations against a Muslim teaching assistant is facing similar allegations after a senior staff member was charged with racially abusing another Muslim teacher.

The Guardian reports that Dawn Salter, the head of food technology at the school, is to stand trial next month for religiously aggravated harassment.

The alleged victim, Rehana Begum, who was a food technology teacher at the school, claims Salter called her a “fucking Muslim bitch” and threatened to “wrap my headscarf around my neck.”

Heartlands academy is already subject after it was reports that an assistant’s role at the school was terminated after she objected to her class being shown footage of people jumping to their deaths during the 9/11 attacks.

Suriyah Bi, 24, recently turned down an £11,000 compensation offer from the school and has vowed to fight the case in court.

Rehana Begum, 47, is also suing the school for unfair dismissal and racial discrimination. She claims she was repeatedly harassed between April 2015 and November 2015 after she raised concerns about exam fraud.

Following the alleged harassment, Begum went on sick leave in March this year and her contract was not renewed. She is now supply teaching. Salter is believed to have remained at the school until 23 July, when she was formally charged by the police. She is now reportedly also on sick leave.

The school referred the Guardian to E-Act, the academy’s sponsor, for comment. The company said: “E-Act takes all such allegations seriously, however, as we are in the middle of a legal process it would not be appropriate for the trust to comment further.”

Salter has been charged with religiously aggravated intentional harassment by use of words and is due to appear at Coventry magistrates court on 6 December. Begum’s case against the school will then follow at an employment tribunal.

Bi’s case, meanwhile, is due to begin at an employment tribunal on 5 December.

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