Head teacher apologises after 'ban the hijab' banner displayed in school playground

The banner up in the playground
The banner was taken down as soon as staff were told -Credit:@ig1ig3 Instagram

A banner which read 'Ban the hijab' was put up by a student on the fence of a school playground in Barking yesterday (Monday, April 22). The banner was tied up as part of a Greatfields School student's art project, the school said, and videos of it were posted on social media amassing 163,000 views.

Greatfields School head teacher Richard Paul has condemned the banner's message, saying it does not represent the views of the school and that the decision of the Year 10 art student to put it up was "ill-judged".

In a statement posted on Facebook, Mr Paul said: "I would like to apologise on behalf of the school for the offence caused by a banner which was briefly put up in the school playground [on Monday] afternoon. This was removed immediately when it came to the attention of staff.

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"The banner was put up by a Year 10 student as part of a conceptual art project and was meant to generate debate and not meant to be offensive in any way. This was clearly an ill-judged decision by the student. I want to make it absolutely clear that this poster does not represent the views of the school in any way.

The banner up in the playground
Headteacher Richard Paul said the banner was an "ill-judged" piece of conceptual art work by a year 10 student -Credit:@ig1ig3 Instagram

"This matter is being fully investigated by the school, and once again I would like to apologise for the hurt and offence caused."

The banner was tied to the fence in the playground. It was on a white sheet with a blood red boarder with large block capital letters spelling out 'BAN THE HIJAB'. The N on the banner is flipped, however, perhaps for artistic license.

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