Three Muslim A-level students have threatened to sue their college in Newham, London, for stress caused after they were suspended for alleged Islamophobia.
Following an email sent to staff and pupils at NewVic college, wherein they criticised the school for cancelling a talk on the UK government's controversial 'Prevent' strategy, which is being introduced in all British schools, Tahyba Ahmed, Humayra Tasnim, Sumayyah Ashraf were slapped with classroom bans on May 22, the day their classes were due to end ahead of exams.
In their email, the students aged between 18 and 19 years, are said to have accused the college of championing the controversial 'Prevent' programme and made a number of demands, including that the college make a statement criticising the strategy, according to the Independent.
Talking to a newspaper, the trio said the entire incident has not only caused them considerable stress but also has had a significant impact on their families. “Our revision has been significantly interrupted and we no longer feel positive about our examination results.”
They further said that they still do not what they had wrong.
The girls' lawyer are said to have contacted the college and called for the trio's immediate return.
Following their suspension, fellow students launched campaign #NewVic3 on social media for the reinstatement of three students.
However, the three girls have been allowed to return to the college to sit their A-Level exams.
Defending his decision to impose a classroom ban on the girls, college principal Eddie Playfair claimed that the suspension had nothing to do with criticism of the programme, rather it had been handed out for “inappropriate use of college communications.”
Insisting that the college was committed to fighting all forms of discrimination, the principal said on May 22, an email making various demands of the institution was sent to every student and member of staff from three individual student email accounts. “This was an unauthorised and inappropriate use of college communications,” said Playfair.
“We have therefore temporarily suspended the students and their email accounts, pending further investigation and discussion with them,” adding that the girls had not yet responded to the invitation to talk about the issue, however they would still be allowed to sit their exams.
"These students have been temporarily suspended for an alleged misuse of the college’s communication system, not because of raising issues about Islamophobia," he added.
The article originally appeared on DailyMail
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