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Saturday, 26 June 2010

School sends home more than 20 children for racist chants during World Cup game

A school suspended more than 20 children after they started chanting racial abuse during a playground showing of a World Cup game.

Education chiefs at the Pent Valley Technology College in Cheriton, Kent, confirmed today that 'a number of children' had been suspended or excluded following an outbreak of 'racial taunting'.

More than 100 children at the secondary school were watching a match after school bosses decided to rig up a giant screen in the playground so pupils could watch lunchtime games.

The incident - which involved around 25 children taunting children of other nationalities - is believed to have taken place during the Honduras v Chile game on June 16.

Head teacher Mario Citro said that a group of youngsters had been sent home from school after 'abusive and racist comments' were made.

He refused to say how many had been suspended or if any had been permanently excluded, but did say that 'a number' of pupils had been excluded.

A source at the school, however, said between 20 and 25 children had been sent home immediately following the incident.

Mr Citro said that the incident was captured on CCTV and that some students had behaved in an 'intimidating manner'.

He added: 'A group of youngsters was making abusive and racist comments to the ones who aren't English.

'Some were trying to be horrible to some of our children from other countries - that is behaviour we don't accept.'

Mr Citro, who said staff take a 'hard line' on racism, addressed a school assembly in the wake of the incident telling children that any racist behaviour would not be tolerated.

He said: 'I reminded the students that what happened was something we would never accept at Pent Valley.

'I reinforced our stance against racism and reminded them how proud we are of our mixed community and how we've always got on together.'

A spokesman for Kent police confirmed that racist chanting had 'got out of hand', but said the school had handled the incident itself.

The spokesman said: 'Some children got suspended after some England chanting got out of hand and ended up racist in tone.

'We were told about it but not called out as the school managed it quickly.'

Mr Citro refused to confirm how many pupils at the 1,300 student school were suspended or excluded, adding: 'A number of children have been excluded but I'm always concerned about people's privacy.'

Daily Mail