Police examine threats against staff at London school accused of racism

UN Londra school accused of institutional racism is at the centre of a police investigation after alleged death threats against its headteacher.

Harris Academy Tottenham issued a safety notice to staff after its executive principal became the focus of hostility.

A petition calling on the executive principal to quit and alleging discrimination against black students had collected nearly 6,000 signatures as of Friday.

The petition was started last week by Joshua Adusei, a PE teacher at the school for 16 mesi, who later posted that he had been suspended. This week Adusei was dismissed after a longstanding investigation into alleged gross misconduct. He has appealed against his dismissal

Adusei, 27, has alleged that the school’s discipline policies disproportionately affect students from Afro-Caribbean backgrounds.

He said he did not condone threats against Harris staff and he did not want any such behaviour to distract from the issues at the school.

“I loved my job and I love the school and I’d like to go back," Egli ha detto. “I am not aware who made these alleged threats and obviously if it is true that’s not good, but we shouldn’t forget what this is about – there are so many problems at the school and I wouldn’t want this to take away from that.”

The petition states that the new head was appointed in September 2020 and goes on to claim that in the first month of his leadership he permanently excluded three black students.

"[He] introduced a zero-tolerance behaviour policy that disproportionately affects BAME and SEN [special educational needs] students," it alleges. “He has now commenced a restructuring of the school staff and is bullying staff into accepting redundancy. [The head] is not acting in the best interests of the school or the local community. We the undersigned call for his immediate resignation and rescinding of the restructuring proposal.”

After the school reported four death threats to police, as well as a threat to stab teachers made via the Change.org petition site, the head’s name was removed from the petition.

All comments have now also been removed. Schools Week reported that one comment had compared a “silent lineup” policy to “Putin’s Russia”, and another had claimed the school was “run by white people … who don’t understand the children”.

A Harris Federation spokesperson called the petition a “misleading, vindictive and vexatious campaign”, and its diverse leadership team “categorically denies” racism and all the allegations made.

A Metropolitan police spokesperson said “reassurance patrols” had been arranged in the area and officers had made inquiries over “malicious communications” aimed at staff.

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