'Disgusting' online abuse of Glasgow pupils pictured with Nicola Sturgeon reported as 'hate crime'

'Disgusting' online abuse of Glasgow pupils pictured with Nicola Sturgeon reported as 'hate crime'
'Disgusting' online abuse of Glasgow pupils pictured with Nicola Sturgeon reported as 'hate crime'

Racial abuse posted online targeting pupils at a Glasgow primary school has been reported to police.

The headteacher at St Albert’s in Pollokshields made the complaint, stating pupils were the subject of what has been described as “disgusting” online abuse after they were pictured with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the school last week.

She said the children are not aware of the abuse as they are 'too young', but teachers and parents have been affected by the response.

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Headteacher Clare Harker said: “We were shocked and horrified by the abuse posted in response to a photo of children in one of our classes.

"Thankfully the pupils in the photo are unaware of the online abuse as they're so young, but all the teachers and parents are appalled.

"Thank you to everyone, including the First Minister, for their messages of support for the children and school. Their kind words have helped reaffirm our faith in human beings following the disgusting online abuse.

"People should not be afraid to report hate crime. It is very important that, when it happens, we all do so. In our experience, the police will treat it very seriously.

“We had officers in the school yesterday and it sends out a very clear message to our older pupils and our wider community that no-one should tolerate abuse - it must be reported."

The council said the social media messages are being investigated.

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Christina Cannon, Glasgow City Council convener for education and equalities, said: "Glasgow is proud to be an inclusive city enriched by its diversity. Our slogan is People Make Glasgow and that means all people.

"We do not tolerate hate crime and I encourage anyone who witnesses it or experiences it to report it either to the police or via a Third Party Reporting Centre.

“Sadly, the online abuse aimed at children in one of our primary schools is a sickening reminder of precisely why everyone needs to stand up to hate crime."

Superintendent Patrick Murphy added: “We are continuing with enquiries and providing support to St Albert's Primary School.

"Police Scotland operates a zero tolerance approach to hate crime on social media platforms and those identified will be dealt with in the appropriate manner.

"We would encourage anyone to report social media hate crime offences to Police Scotland on 101 or at a designated Third Party Reporting Centre.

"We are committed to providing a professional and consistent approach to victims of hate crime, treating everyone equally with due regard to their differences."