Hackney: Borough Mayor calls for Child Q school head to ‘stand down’

Hackney: Borough Mayor calls for Child Q school head to ‘stand down’

The Mayor of Hackney and his deputy have called on the headteacher of the local school where a 15-year-old black girl was strip-searched by Metropolitan Police officers to resign, saying they are dissatisfied with the response for assurances about rebuilding “trust with students, parents and the wider community”.

Writing on Twitter, Philip Glanville said that since contacting the school he and deputy mayor Antoinette Bramble have “sadly heard more troubling reports from staff, families and young people disturbed about the situation” and “feel we’ve no choice but to express our lack of confidence in the current leadership of the school” and “ask that the Headteacher should stand down and allow that school and its community the new start it needs”.

In line with Glanville, Bramble said there was “no choice but to ask the Headteacher to stand down from the school” and added that “thoughts are with Child Q, her family and friends” and all affected by “this horrific act”.

The Met has acknowledged that officers’ actions were “regrettable” and that the incident “should never have happened”, and the girl is taking civil action against both the Met and the school.

A safeguarding review found that the search was unjustified and that racism was “likely” to have been a factor behind it taking place. The review says police were called by the school by teachers who say they “believed Child Q was smelling strongly of cannabis and suspected she might be carrying drugs” and after a search of the girl’s bag, blazer, scarf and shoes “revealed nothing of significance”.

No drugs were found by the two female police officers who conducted the strip search, during which the girl had to remove her sanitary towel and her intimate body parts were exposed. The review found that “racism (whether deliberately or not) was likely to have been an influencing factor in the decision to undertake the strip search”.

Photo of recent Child Q protest from Mandu Reid Twitter feed.

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