A teenager was excluded from school after his teacher claimed that he had performed an act of racism by giving a Nazi salute in class.
Ben Hayward, 14, was accused of making the racist hand gesture and clicking his heels while saying “Heil Hitler” to his unnamed teacher. But the boy insisted he did not know he was being racist and was just stretching out his left arm to imitate his teacher’s gesture as she attempted to keep students quiet outside the classroom before the performing arts class.
Despite denying saying the phrase or that he clicked his heels, officials from Meopham School, in Meopham, Kent, handed him a two-hour detention.
But the schoolboy and his parents refused to accept that the incident was racist and demanded an investigation by the school, claiming the teacher was mistaken.
While the detention was initially postponed, officials later contacted his family to say Ben had to serve his punishment, despite the head teacher, Matthew Munro, admitting that the school was prepared to drop its claims that the incident was racist.