Battling online abuse for ordering ban on hijab, Indian-origin principal Neena Lall gets backing from UK government

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Published: February 19, 2018 1:05:51 PM

The British government has come out in support of Indian-origin school principal Neena Lall, the head teacher of St Stephen’s School in Newham, east London, who came to limelight after ordering a ban on hijab for girls aged under eight.

UK school hijab ban: Authorities back Neena Lall's decisionUK school hijab ban: Authorities back Neena Lall’s decision

The British government has come out in support of Indian-origin school principal Neena Lall, the head teacher of St Stephen’s School in Newham, east London, who came to limelight after ordering a ban on hijab for girls aged under eight. Reportedly, Lall was subjected to online abuse after her diktat and people even drew parallels between her and the German dictator Adolf Hitler. The local police in Newham, east London, has taken note of the abusive emails, Facebook posts and other social media messages received by Lall and have also filed a complaint based on them.

Arif Qawi, the former chair of governors at St Stephens Primary School, has also been dealing with similar messages on social media following which he resigned from his post. He also claimed that the eruptive reaction on the order was the main reason behind reversing the hijab ban.

Much to the relief of the school management, the UK authorities have now openly supported the decision. Recently, UK education secretary Damian Hinds came out in support of the two saying that no head teacher or governing body should be subjected to such abuse. Earlier, Lord Theodore Agnew, Britain’s Minister for Schools, Faiths and Counter Extremism in Education had also defended the order asking to ban the hijab for Muslim girls aged under eight. An independent schools watchdog of UK, the Office for Standard in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, had also extended its backing to the school’s decision.

It is worth mentioning that the school has a majority of pupils from Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi backgrounds. While issuing the order, the school had said that the decision (to ban hijab for under eight girls) has been taken keeping in mind, the ‘ best interests’ of the students.

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