(Daily Mail) An angry mother has accused a primary school of denying her child water on one of the hottest days of the year for fear of upsetting pupils observing Ramadan.
Kora Blagden, 32, claimed a teacher at son Luke’s school refused to let the 10-year old drink from his water bottle because it was unfair to fasting classmates.
Many pupils at Charles Dickens Primary School, Portsmouth, Hampshire, are fasting during Ramadan, which means they refrain from taking food or water between sunrise and sunset for around 30 days, depending on the moon.
Mother-of-four Kora said: ‘Just before bedtime me and my sons Luke, ten, and Alfie, eight, were talking about Ramadan as we had seen it on the news.
‘Luke said to me he was told he wasn’t allowed to drink in class by his teacher.
‘The reason being, a child who is fasting had a headache and the teacher said it would be unfair if the other children drank in front of the pupil.
‘They normally have their bottles on their table but they were kept in a tray by the teacher.
‘He went along with it but he was thirsty and didn’t want to offend the other children.
‘Alfie said he was allowed to drink in the morning but not in the afternoon.
‘Luke was dehydrated when he got home and drunk three glasses of water straight away.’
The teacher, who has not been named, made the ruling on Thursday when temperatures soared to 28 degrees.
Ms Blagden confronted deputy head Lisa Florence before lessons began today and was given a verbal apology for the incident.
She said: ‘I spoke to the deputy head and told them what Luke had said to me and I asked why this was allowed.
‘She said it wasn’t fair my son was refused a drink in lesson and therefore drank nothing in lesson time all day.
‘She said they will be speaking with Luke and the teacher, and stated she was sorry my children felt they could not drink.
‘The deputy head said it was not what they had been told to do and it is only what children of Muslim faith do.
‘I have no problem with that but I don’t wish my sons to be told they can’t drink water.
‘Personally I think it is very wrong.’
Charles Dickens is an inner-city school just streets away from the birthplace of the world-famous author of the same name.
The school said there was no ban on children from other religions having food and drink during Ramadan but refused to comment on this individual case.
Portsmouth City Council, who run the 300-pupil school, also declined to comment.