The head teacher at a school in Britain is defending her decision to ban books that contain stories about pigs because they might offend Muslim children.
According to a report in the London Daily Express, teacher Barbara Harris has removed the books from classes for those under 7 years old at Park Road Junior Infant and Nursery School in Batley, West Yorkshire.
Sixty percent of the students are of Pakistani or Indian origin, reports the Express, 99 percent of whom are Muslim.
“Recently, the head teacher has been aware of an occasion where young Muslim children in a class were read stories about pigs,” said a statement from the school. “This could have caused offense to religious sensitivities.”
The teachings of Islam strictly forbid the consumption of pig flesh, as well as any food product that may be a derivative of pigs.
Harris told the Express she sent a memo to her staff that fiction books containing pigs should be removed from the younger classrooms.
She added: “The books remain in the school library and there is nothing to stop our youngest children having stories such as ‘The Three Little Pigs’ in small groups.”
According to the report, Harris’ memo explained that children older than 6 “can be expected to make informed choice about their reading material and therefore the books remain the same in these classrooms.”
“I very much regret that anyone should find this controversial as all we are doing is trying hard, and reasonably successfully, to ensure that all of our children are awarded the respect that all human beings deserve,” she said.