Four Wakefield pupils suspended for slightly smearing Quran at school

Four pupils were suspended from a West Yorkshire secondary school after a copy of the Quran received minor damage by students.

On Wednesday, a copy of the Islamic holy book was brought into the school by a student in Year 10. It received light damage.

Despite this, four students were suspended.

Head teacher Tudor Griffiths later said the book remained intact and there was “no malicious intent” from those involved.

He held a meeting with concerned community leaders on Friday.

Independent councillor for Wakefield East, Akef Akbar, called the meeting after being contacted by people calling for more information.

He said reports the Quran had been burnt or destroyed were untrue, and he had inspected the book himself during the meeting.

Mr Akbar said he had been told the book had been taken to school as a dare by a pupil who lost while playing a Call of Duty videogame with other students.

While at the school it sustained a slight tear to the cover and smears of dirt on some of the pages.

Mr Akbar said he understood it had been kicked around on the school premises – a claim denied by the school.

Head teacher Mr Griffiths said in a statement: “We would like to reassure all our community that the holy book remains fully intact and that our initial enquiries indicate there was no malicious intent by those involved.

“However, we have made it very clear that their actions did not treat the Quran with the respect it should have, so those involved have been suspended and we will be working with them to ensure they understand why their actions were unacceptable.

“This morning, we met with our local Muslim community leaders, local councillors and police to share all the information we currently know, the action taken and the immediate steps we have taken to reinforce the values and behaviour we expect from every member of this school community to ensure that all religions are respected.”

A spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said they were “liaising” with the school.

“Initial enquiries have confirmed minor damage was caused to the text and officers are continuing to work closely with the school,” they added.