R.I.P., to tolerance & free speech!

So you are twelve years old, you have an Asian dad and a white English mom, and you have a family history worth remembering. You are British; your dad is British; your mom is British; you have a great deal to be proud about. In your family tree, you find you had a Great-Great-Uncle who died in battle on the first day of the mincing machine known as the Battle of the Somme.

So you place a message on Remembrance Day to just say ‘R.I.P to all the lads who never made it home’. A grown-up message from a young man? Yes, I would call him a young man, and I would agree that his was the message of a mature mind, given and placed at the right time and in the right place.

Six of his schoolmates, five Muslim boys and one white girl thought otherwise, placing threats including the phrase “Fight on Monday gonna be heavy knuckle dusters and knifes hopefully I don’t die” as well as a later post : ‘Im in trouble wiv de police cuz of susspician of threat to Darius … Im banggin Darius Thursday.’

His mother was so horrified by the threats of knuckle-duster vengeance, she immediately pulled her son out of school.

The six were suspended, with the remote possibility of expulsion, but the shadow over Darius is the one we should be examining. A youing man posts a Remembrance message on a network site, and is threatened with death. One of the six suspended has himself posted ‘jihadi’ glorification statements online!

Sidney Stringer Academy’s principal, Wendy Thomas,said : ‘Darius is the victim of bullying. All the students involved have told me they did not mean what they said but they will learn a hard lesson from this. Yeah, and we all believe them, don’t we; ‘cuz Muslims never lie!


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