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A teacher at a Luton school is suing the education authority for alleged racial discrimination after he was discipl...
A teacher at a Luton school is suing the education authority for alleged racial discrimination after he was disciplined and suspended following an incident in which he was allegedly taunted by a gang of pupils.

The Daily Mail (p29) reports that Stephan Shimkin, a religious education teacher, claims that he was subjected to a torrent of abuse, including death threats, and racist language from pupils at Denbigh high school. He admitted, however, that he had not made a formal complaint.

Mr Shimkin, who is a Roman Catholic, was later suspended for failing to show 'deference and respect' to pupils at the 90% Mulsim school.

He claimed he was treated 'more severely' by the governors and head Yasmin Bevin 'than people of her own race'. He said he received no support from them and accused them of being more interested in 'placating' unruly pupils than taking action against them.

Mr Shimkin, who is representing himself, told an industrial tribunal that he had complained to Luton's director of education, Tony Dessent, after he was taunted by 50 or 60 pupils.

When the school was informed in May last year he was suspended from the post he had held for seven years.

Mr Shimkin described one incident in June 1998 when he was trying to calm an unruly class of 15-year-olds when he sat on his copy of the Koran. He received a written warning after pupils complained and demanded that he apologise in front of the whole school.

Daniel Oudkerk, for Luton BC, said that after the Koran incident a pupil said the teacher had told the class: 'It is my book and I can do whatever I want with it. I can throw it out of the window if I want to.'

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