A headmaster is facing calls to resign after he posted a picture on Facebook of himself wearing a turban with the caption: “Nearly gone native in Leicester.”
Dr Tim Luckcock, 49, is head of Uplands junior school in Highfields, Leicester — a city where fewer than half of the population consider themselves white British.
He is thought to have posted the picture as a joke, but it has been seized on by members of his staff who say it is “inappropriate” in a “multi-faith school”.
One member of the staff, who did not wish to be named, said: “A pupil at the school noticed it on Facebook first and he told his mother who informed a member of staff.
“We are all shocked and pretty disgusted at it. Leicester is a multi-ethnic city and the school reflects this.
“We don’t know if this was Tim’s idea of a joke but it’s in very bad taste and has upset some pupils and their parents alike.”
A spokesman for the Leicester Sikh Alliance said: “We applaud anybody who is seeking a different religious experience in the genuine quest for understanding and appreciation.
“But it is incumbent that such an exercise should be performed with respect and not in satire.”
Dr Luckcock, a father of two, said: “The picture was taken at a school Diwali [an Indian festival] celebration more than a year ago. Most members of staff were wearing similar headgear or Indian clothes. I put the picture on Facebook when I thought my privacy settings were at ‘friends only’. The story is out of its true context. It’s wrong to infer I’m racist.”
However, an eight-page letter sent by school staff to the council accuses Dr Luckcock of “religious bias” and calls for his resignation.
Teaching unions said they hoped to meet with the city council to discuss the grievance.
A spokesman for the council said: “We can confirm that trade unions have raised collective grievances against the head teacher and the governing body. We have scheduled discussions with governors and with trade union representatives to discuss how the issues can be investigated and be resolved.” [Daily Mail]