How a young Muslim boy's spelling mistake got him in trouble with the police

@boiboing (12533)
Northampton, England
February 5, 2016 5:01pm CST
My husband told me this story and it sounded so ridiculous that I had to check it out online. A school teacher in Lancashire (north west England) reported a 10-year old Muslim boy after he made a spelling mistake. The boy lived in a 'terraced house' - this is what Google tells me would be called a 'row house' in the USA. This is a house with houses attached to it on both sides. Some might call it a town house but that's rather grand for what we call a 'two-up-two-down' terraced house. Poor lad wrote that he lived in a 'terrorist' house instead of 'terraced'. Come on, he's 10 years old. When I was ten a kid in my class muddled up voucher and vulture. It happens. In this case the teacher called the police, citing the 2015 Counter Terrorism and Security Act and officers turned up at the boy's house to 'interview' him. The boy's cousin expressed her amazement that the teacher wasn't more interested in correcting his spelling errors instead of calling the cops. You really couldn't make it up, could you?
16 people like this
16 responses
@Jessicalynnt (48172)
• Centralia, Missouri
6 Feb 16
or to simply ask him what he meant first!
3 people like this
@cacay1 (30404)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
6 Feb 16
@Jessicalynnt, That is right , so judgmental teacher.
2 people like this
• Centralia, Missouri
6 Feb 16
@cacay1 sounds like the teacher wanted recognition for finding out something scandalous/bad, and didn't have the kids well being at heart
@boiboing (12533)
• Northampton, England
6 Feb 16
@Jessicalynnt You wonder why people like that teach
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
6 Feb 16
so the please came to invest hymn for a sample spilling miss take - poor kid
3 people like this
• Philippines
5 Feb 16
PARANOIA at it's best. this is just beyond me, the poor boy maybe he will definitely double check all of his SPELLING this time around, seriously.
3 people like this
@TheHorse (48429)
• Pleasant Hill, California
6 Feb 16
I would have checked with the kid and asked him what he meant.
2 people like this
@cacay1 (30404)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
6 Feb 16
@TheHorse, Correct.
2 people like this
@TheHorse (48429)
• Pleasant Hill, California
6 Feb 16
@cacay1 I'd really want to talk with the kid, the teacher, and administrators before I formed an impression of what really happened. If nobody had an agenda, my hope would be that everyone got a good laugh out of what happened.
2 people like this
@cacay1 (30404)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
6 Feb 16
@TheHorse Better you have the bright idea than that teacher doing the instant but failed action.
2 people like this
@scheng1 (24970)
• Singapore
6 Feb 16
The teacher is taking the right action though very extreme. If the family of the boy really harbors a terrorist, the teacher will be laud as a heroine in town.
2 people like this
@boiboing (12533)
• Northampton, England
6 Feb 16
I don't think you understand. It's a spelling mistake. There's no reason to think the kid is a terrorist.
2 people like this
@cacay1 (30404)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
6 Feb 16
I do not like that teacher, so inconsiderate.The boy is 10 and usually Muslims are poor thinkers, slow learners. I observed it as having many Muslim students in my class in the college level, poor spellers like bird: verd, bolo, bulo, ball, bol and they are college how much more to a kid?
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12533)
• Northampton, England
6 Feb 16
I think that may be a very unfortunate generalization that doesn't apply in many countries. Certainly many immigrants in this country regardless of religion take the education of their children very seriously and many of the kids outperform local kids.
2 people like this
@topffer (28511)
• France
5 Feb 16
Maybe not a zealous teacher, but certainly a zealous citizen.
1 person likes this
@boiboing (12533)
• Northampton, England
5 Feb 16
I think you mean 'over-zealous'.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (111378)
• Boise, Idaho
6 Feb 16
No. Talk about a paranoid teacher. Thanks for sharing.
1 person likes this
@Shiva49 (8763)
• Singapore
6 Feb 16
He has a good vocabulary for his age! Now that word is bandied about all over the place so he could have picked it up from anywhere - siva
@boiboing (12533)
• Northampton, England
6 Feb 16
I think so too. Kids make those kind of mistakes and normally they just turn into family funny stories - not security alerts.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (108572)
• Switzerland
6 Feb 16
I remember that I have read this news and I found the reaction of the teacher ridiculous.
@boiboing (12533)
• Northampton, England
6 Feb 16
I think so to.
1 person likes this
@aju007 (1485)
• Thiruvananthapuram, India
8 Feb 16
Really ridiculous. The teacher is so judgemental. I think she didnt even care to ask him what he meant. If she did then this whole thing could have been avoided.
@aju007 (1485)
• Thiruvananthapuram, India
8 Feb 16
Really ridiculous. The teacher is so judgemental. I think she didnt even care to ask him what he meant. If she did then this whole thing could have been avoided.
@MALUSE (28624)
• Denmark
8 Feb 16
The boy isn't only young but also a victim of the times. At the moment one hears and sees more about terrorists than terraces.
@Namelesss (983)
• United States
8 Feb 16
That's as crazy as the teacher that tried to have my son expelled (he was 10) for a drawing of military training exercise. She almost succeeded till we (me and his art teacher) informed her rather bluntly why. She had told the kids to create a picture honoring our military and he had won first place for his contribution.
@valmnz (12577)
• New Zealand
7 Feb 16
Seems like that teacher wasn't very good at communicating. She could have at least asked him what a terrorist house was. Our son is adopted and I used to belong to an adoption support group in the early years - once our son heard the word adoption meeting and thought I was going to a doctors meeting. Kids hear things differently.
• Budennovsk, Russian Federation
6 Feb 16
last year i read about the boy in the USA who inveted hand-made clock that resembled a bomb and the teacher sent him to police. Later he became a hero (the boy)