Students at Hodge Hill College in Birmingham have held a solidarity prayer in the playground after a pupil was allegedly interrupted while praying by a teacher.
Pupils say that a senior teacher tried to stop a Year 10 boy from completing his salah on Tuesday. They say that the school, which has an overwhelmingly majority Muslim intake, does not provide prayer facilities for its pupils.
5Pillars specifically asked Hodge Hill College if the teacher interrupted and screamed at the boy as is being alleged on social media, but they did not answer the question. However, they denied that any disciplinary action had been taken against the boy.
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of claims relating to a pupil at Hodge Hill College wishing to pray during lunchbreak on Tuesday. The school has confirmed no disciplinary action has been taken against any pupils for praying outside and that it is fully supportive of pupils having the option to pray.
“A combination of factors, including building work, have made it difficult for the school to facilitate praying inside in recent weeks. However, the school has now allocated a meeting room for pupils to use for prayer during break times and will be working with the student leadership group to ensure pupils are supported to pray.”
Meanwhile, local MP Liam Byrne yesterday said he had spoken to the head of Hodge Hill College “to make very clear that interference with pupils prayer isn’t acceptable.”
He added: “The Head not only shares this view but is taking steps to address what happened through the schools processes.”
Local councillor Majid Mahmood also confirms that he had been approached by a number of people in relation to allegations that a pupil was suspended for praying salat at Hodge Hill College.
He said: “I’ve looked into the situation and have been assured no disciplinary action has been taken against any pupils praying outside Hodge Hill College. The school is fully supportive of pupils having the option to pray, however recent building works have led to difficulties making indoor space available for prayer.
“The school is working with the student leadership group to ensure pupils are supported to pray and a meeting room has now been allocated for use for prayer during break times. If you need more information please email me email@example.com or call on 07970 420 059.”
Hodge Hill College is a mixed secondary school located in the Hodge Hill area of Birmingham. It is a non-selective community school administered by Birmingham City Council.