Parents of a four-year-old nursery student were summoned by staff after the child allegedly mispronounced cucumber as 'cooker bomb'. Staff at the nursery based in Luton considered referring the child to the Home Office's 'Prevent' deradicalisation scheme following the incident.
The child reportedly came under scrutiny after he drew a picture of a man cutting a cucumber with a large knife and pointed to the drawing saying "cooker bomb". The child's mother told the BBC Asian Network: "[The member of nursery staff] kept saying it was this one picture of the man cutting the cucumber, which she said to me is a 'cooker bomb'. I was baffled. It was a horrible day."
The case was eventually dropped after being discussed by a panel of police and social services. "Teachers are scared of getting it wrong...They think Ofsted is going to criticise them if they haven't reported these things, and you end up [with] the boy making the spelling mistake, or the boy saying something in Arabic - that then gets reported on," said Alex Kenny from the National Union of Teachers.
Earlier, police investigated an incident where a 10-year-old Muslim boy mistakenly wrote that he lived in a "terrorist" house instead of a "terraced house" during his English class at a Lancashire school. Following the incident, the teachers contacted the police and the student was interviewed by police. A family laptop was also inspected. An unidentified relative of the child had said: "You can imagine it happening to a 30-year-old man, but not to a young child. If the teacher had any concerns it should have been about his spelling. They shouldn't be putting a child through this. He's now scared of writing, using his imagination."