A Muslim schoolgirl who is taking High Court legal action against her teachers after pupils were banned from praying in the playground was suspended last year for threatening to stab a girl.
Court papers reveal the teenager made the threat soon after confiding in the fellow pupil that she was bringing the court case to ‘harm the school’. She was excluded for five days last April after her ‘scared’ confidante told teachers what the girl had said to her.
The news comes as her headteacher, Katharine Birbalsingh, told The Mail on Sunday last night that she feared for her own safety due to the backlash over the legal case, which the pupil and her mother are funding with legal aid.
The girl is suing Michaela Community School, claiming the ban breached her human rights.
The judgment in the High Court case, which could cost £1million, is expected next month.
The girl’s headteacher, Katharine Birbalsingh (pictured), told The Mail on Sunday last night that she feared for her own safety due to the backlash over the legal case
The girl is suing Michaela Community School (pictured), claiming the ban breached her human rights
The controversy was revealed by The Mail on Sunday last year when we told how the school and its staff received bomb threats, death threats and racial abuse after anger was whipped up by extremists following the ban.
The media was able to name the school and the head last week after a judge lifted reporting restrictions.
Michaela in Brent, North-West London, is one of Britain’s best-known state schools, and attains some of the best GCSE and A-Level results in the country. It is rated ‘excellent’ by Ofsted.
Since its foundation in 2014, it has strictly enforced discipline.
The school – half of whose 700 pupils are Muslim – has never provided a prayer room, and pupils did not pray in the past, including the pupil suing the school, who can only be known as TTT.
Last night, in her first newspaper interview about the case, Ms Birbalsingh said of the threats against the school: ‘Thousands of people were after us – we were getting the most horrific phone calls and emails, threatening violence and death.’
The head said the school stopped the praying when TTT and others began to intimidate other Muslim pupils, telling them to fast during Ramadan.
She added: ‘We believe in promoting cohesion. Too often the Left denies brown and black children the right to be British – they say we are from somewhere else. But we are not. For multi-culturalism to work, everyone needs to feel as though they are British.’