Around 200 children staged a walk-out at a school in Bristol after a teacher quit claiming they had been a victim of racism.
A member of staff said pupils at Redland Green School tried to break down doors, sprayed graffiti on the walls, smashed toilets and tipped over bins during the disruption.
They said that things became so tense that staff had to barricade themselves inside classrooms.
The member of staff said: ‘Approximately 200 students, fed up with a lack of action over racism, staged a walk-out at 11am, and refused to go back to class as a form of protest.
‘The protest turned into a riot, with senior management chasing students throughout the school throughout the day.’
The school denied that there had been a riot, saying it was a peaceful protest on the playground.
Headteacher Ben Houghton and chair of governors Rhiannon Ormsby wrote to parents telling them that ‘a number of students across year groups left lessons to protest’.
They said: ‘Some students have chosen to make their voices heard on the issues of EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion) and racism by way of protesting during the school day, raising issues that concern them.
‘Students have since been instructed to return to their lessons and the day has continued as normal.
‘Our priority at this point is to the safety and wellbeing of all students and staff on-site and to ensure that the rest of the term can proceed calmly and in the normal way.
‘I would also like to reassure you that RGS is a school where discrimination of any form is totally unacceptable, is never tolerated and will always be acted upon when reported.’
Gate House Green, the trust that runs the school, said: ‘
‘Some classroom doors were closed during the protest so that learning wasn’t disturbed. An inaccurate report suggested that considerable damage was caused in the school, which was incorrect; however, a bin was knocked over as students moved through the school.
‘The school supports the right of students to speak passionately about how they feel and is ensuring that the students can have their say within the safe environment of the school.’
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