Summoned to a meeting at her seven-year-old son’s primary school, Hayley White was prepared for a quick chat about his behaviour.
But when she was told that Elliott had been at the centre of an ‘incident’ with another pupil that was so serious she would have to sign an official form admitting he was racist, she refused to believe what she was hearing.
‘When I arrived at the school and asked Elliott what had happened, he became extremely upset,’ said Ms White, who is a 32-year-old NHS worker. ‘He kept saying to me: “I was just asking a question. I didn’t mean it to be nasty”.’
It turned out that while in the playground Elliott had approached a four-year-old boy and asked him whether he was ‘brown because he was from Africa’. On returning home, the younger boy had told his mother about the comment, and she had informed the school, hoping that they could have a quiet word with Elliott.