'Racist' School Faces Outrage After Threatening to Expel Student Protestors

A London secondary school is receiving backlash after reportedly threatening to expel a group of students who protested alleged racism in the school's dress code and policies.

According to The Mirror, hundreds of students at Pimlico Academy participated in a sit-in on March 31 in response to changes made to the school's uniform policy, which they say discriminated against Black and Muslim students.

After new leadership took over last year, the school banned hairstyles that "block the views of others" and ordered that hijabs "should not be too colorful," reports The Independent.

Students also protested the Union Jack flying in front of the school, as well as aspects of the curriculum that reportedly ignored the Black Lives Matter movement and Black History Month.

The protests appeared successful: the school agreed to revise the dress code, remove the Union Jack from the front of the school, and revisit the curriculum.

However, it has been reported that parents of some students have since received emails stating that they would need to accompany their child to disciplinary hearings.

"Following [child's name] disruptive behavior on the last day of term, she is required to attend a disciplinary meeting," read the email, obtained by The Guardian.

"The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the nature of [child's name] disruptive behavior on the last day of term and to give [child's name] the opportunity to reflect on their actions," it continued.

This morning I was joined by parliamentary colleagues in writing to the Principal of Pimlico Academy expressing serious concern at any proposed disciplinary actions against students who protested last term against the uniform policy & removal of Black History Month curriculum. pic.twitter.com/4hYpEy7nUR

— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) April 19, 2021

"You should be aware that if [child's name] is found to have committed a serious breach of the academy's behavior policy and if it is deemed that [child's name] remaining in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of others, consideration will be given to permanently excluding [child's name] from the academy," they added.

On Monday, the day of the students' disciplinary hearings, the school was reportedly met with graffiti that took issue with the administration's handling of the protests. According to The Independent, the graffiti, which has already been covered up, said, "They want to expel the students for speaking out" and "Expel the racist headteacher."

Meanwhile, news of Pimlico Academy's attitude towards the incident is sparking outrage on Twitter.

"Solidarity to the pupils, parents and staff in the face of this unacceptable repression," wrote Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament, Nadia Whittold.

Additionally, several Members of Parliament signed a joint letter to the school's headteacher, Daniel Smith, expressing "deep concern at any proposed disciplinary action against students at Pimlico Academy who have chosen to exercise their right to protest."

It is still not known if the school plans to follow through with its threats of expulsion, nor is it clear how they plan on responding to the public backlash.

Union Jack Flag
The Union Jack symbol has increasingly become a source of controversy in the UK. Bryn Lennon/Getty Images