Children at a London primary school were banned from watching the eclipse for “religious and cultural reasons.”
Council officials demanded an explanation from the head of the school in a multi-cultural suburb of west London.
Phil Belman, the father of a seven-year-old girl at North Primary School in Southall, rang the headteacher to express his anger.
My daughter was sent home yesterday to make a pinhole camera for the eclipse.
This morning I heard for religious and cultural reasons the kids were going to be banned from any part in the eclipse.
I was put through to him straight away and he confirmed it, religious and cultural reasons. I said that was totally outrageous. I asked him to elaborate and he refused.
It’s just going back to the dark ages really.
The part about refusing to elaborate is especially annoying. It’s a council school, not a private religious school; what is it doing banning all the students from watching the eclipse? What is it doing refusing to discuss the matter with a parent?
Ealing Council confirmed the pupils were not allowed out of their classrooms but said they were able to see the eclipse on TV screens.
The headmaster, Ivor Johnstone, issued a statement saying he was sorry for any disappointment.