Minister vows 'tougher guidelines' after schoolgirl strip-searched – BBC


Much tougher guidelines will be introduced in response to the "hugely distressing" strip-searching of a black schoolgirl referred to as Child Q, the education secretary has said.
Nadhim Zahawi told the BBC's Sunday Morning show he would set out a new policy after the "appalling" incident.
The 15-year-old was wrongly suspected by teachers of carrying cannabis.
A safeguarding report found racism was "likely" to have been a factor in the search of the girl.
Protests erupted after it emerged the teenager was searched by two female Metropolitan Police officers at a school in Hackney in 2020, without another adult present and in the knowledge that she was menstruating.
Mr Zahawi said: "It's appalling, what happened. I'm reviewing what our guidelines, our policies, are on this. No child should have been exposed to that sort of trauma.
"The parents weren't even contacted, which I find hugely distressing, which is why I've asked my team to review the policy on this, and I will be saying more about this very soon."
He did not say whether he thought racism was a factor, adding: "I don't know because I don't know what drove those police officers.
"You don't have to have a child to be shocked that a child is allowed to be strip-searched in an environment which is meant to be a protective environment – school is a protective environment for children – hence why I have asked my team to make sure that we review the policies, and I will be saying more, but I will certainly be looking at putting out much tougher guidelines on this."
Meanwhile, a government adviser has also condemned the incident, saying it should "horrify us all".
Nimco Ali, an adviser on violence against women and girls to the Home Office, said the UK should not tolerate minors being strip-searched.
The school's governing board said the school "was not aware that a strip-search was taking place".
It has apologised to the girl and her family, who are suing the east London school and the Met Police over the incident.
Ms Ali, chief executive of the Five Foundation which works to end the practice of female genital mutilation, said: "It's something that should horrify us all.
"This country is one of the most tolerant countries in Europe but is there more for us to do? Yes, there is.
"Ultimately, we have to talk about the Metropolitan Police and institutional racism."
Her comments came after Met Police data showed five children are strip-searched every day on average by the force.
The figures, first reported by LBC, showed that out of 5,279 children searched after an arrest in the past three years, 3,939 – about 75% – were from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
The data did not cover children who were not arrested but still strip-searched – like Child Q – so it was likely the number was even higher.
Weyman Bennett, co-coordinator of the Stand Up to Racism campaign group, called for "urgent change" in light of the "shocking" data.
A spokesperson for the Met Police said it "understood" strip-searches could have "a significant and lasting impact on someone".
"Every search must be lawful, proportionate and necessary and carried out with respect, dignity and empathy," the spokesperson said.
The force added there were "occasions when it is very necessary" to strip-search minors, for example "to prevent harm to children who may be exploited by gangs, County Lines and drug dealers".
Follow BBC London on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to hellobbclondon@bbc.co.uk
School apologises for strip-search of schoolgirl
Calls for head of strip-search school to resign
Government taking Child Q case seriously – minister
Protesters march in support of strip-searched girl
Treat strip-search as gross misconduct case – mayor
Police powers reviewed under racial disparity plan
Strip-searching schoolgirl was 'sexual assault'
Strip-searched schoolgirl was taken out of exam
Apology after schoolgirl strip-searched by police
City & Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership (CHSCP)
New attendance register to stop ‘ghost children’ falling through the net
Man charged with attempted murder of waitress at East Ham restaurant
Station master’s house on Queen’s Sandringham Estate on sale for £1.5m
Too many people are intolerant of others when discussing trans rights – Starmer
Dog walkers on Heath limited to four canines
Yasmin Begum death: Man charged with murder after mum-of-two found dead in Bethnal Green home
Ukraine pauses civilian evacuations, warning of danger​
Oscar winner Will Smith hits Chris Rock on stage
The moment Will Smith slaps Chris Rock after Jada joke. Video
How a Russian agent shadowed murdered Putin rival. Video
'Our hospitals and schools are attacked on purpose'
Premature babies struggling for life in Ukraine
Doorstep threats and abuse hit anti-war Russians
Beatings, forced abortions: Life in a N Korea prison
Beating noise pollution with smart tech
Landmark deal for seized money to help fight Covid
India students back from Ukraine left in the lurch
On patrol using drones to monitor Russian troops. Video
The most powerful man you've never heard of
Searching for Vladislav Surkov, key architect of the 'post truth' world
'I didn't think I'd get skin cancer'
Inside the murky world of illegal tanning drugs
Would you buy a house with no doors?!
Life in the world's oldest town…
© 2022 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.

source


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *