A British high school for Muslim girls has come under heavy media scrutiny for its reported habit of not providing easily accessible toilet paper, soap or even drinking water to its students.
To make matters worse, Park Avenue Girls’ High School headteacher Abdul Ghafoor Salloo has been completely blasé about the discoveries, defending the school’s odd and potentially unsanitary habits on the basis of “cultural reasons.”
“The children, they do use the toilets, and traditionally, because we are Asian, we wash, not only wipe,” he said, according to the The U.K. Daily Telegraph. “There are facilities for pupils to clean themselves.”
Excuse my cultural ignorance, but how exactly does one clean himself or herself without toilet paper!? And FYI, I ask this as an East Indian Asian.
“There are facilities for cleaning yourself in the toilet — it might be hard for someone who doesn’t traditionally wash to understand, and washing is better than wiping clean,” he added.
I’m sorry, but what?
Regardless, the U.K.’s Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, known more commonly as Ofsted, has reportedly tagged the school — in the central English city of Stoke-on-Trent — with its lowest rating because of these so-called cultural practices.
“At the time of the inspection, it was not the school’s common practice to provide soap for pupils’ hand-washing, toilet roll in the toilets or suitable drinking water,” a report compiled by Ofsted after a recent investigation reportedly read.
“Toilet paper is available from the school office when pupils request it. Pupils told inspectors that they sometimes avoided using toilets for the whole school day because of this.”
Frankly, that sounds like child abuse.
According to the BBC, during its investigation Ofsted also found broken windows and sharp glass on the floor.
Stunningly, Salloo had an excuse for this as well, claiming that the school has been constructing a new building and thus some problems have been “overlooked.”
“There are still a few bits and bobs to be done,” he said. “We didn’t mean to harm our children.”
You know what? I’m done …
Look, I understand the notion of cultural differences, OK, but when girls are both walking around on broken glass and also avoiding using the restroom because of a lack of toilet paper, the ol’ “cultural differences” excuse means nothing.
This is child abuse, plain and simple, and unless this school gets its act together right way, perhaps it shouldn’t be in the education business, period.
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