'My boy NOT a victim of racism': Mum says Griffin Primary School overreacted in playground 'race row'
A MOTHER has denied her son was the victim of racial abuse after a seven-year-old asked him if he was "brown because he was from Africa".
Nicola Allen, of east Hull, said the matter had been blown out of proportion after the Mail revealed how Griffin Primary School had launched an investigation into the playground comments by Elliott Dearlove.
As a result, Elliott's mother Hayley White says she received a phone call to say her son had been at the centre of a "racist incident".
But Miss Allen insisted she had never accused Elliott of being racist – and believes the boy is being unfairly treated.
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"Not at any point did I feel he was racist," she said.
"He is seven years old. The race thing has come from the school.
"It is not the case that I said Elliott was racist."
Miss Allen said she had decided to speak out to protect her family, but did not want to name her five-year-old son.
She said: "I don't want people going round saying I called that little boy racist.
"This is extremely distressing for me and my family."
Miss Allen said the row dated back to October when her son, who is of mixed race, came home from school upset saying another pupil had been asking if he was from Africa.
She said: "I sat him down and explained that he wasn't.
"I asked why he had asked this and his reply was that an older boy had said he was because he was brown.
"I was born in east Hull, I went to Griffin Primary School and he was born in east Hull, and as far as I'm concerned, we could not be more east Hull if we tried.
"Initially, I tried to brush the comment aside but it happened again.
"It was distressing.
"Eventually, I spoke to his teacher about it, I asked if they could speak to the other child and explain to him he was not African.
"I want to stress most vehemently at no time have I ever accused this child of racism.
"My point was my son was only four at the time. All I wanted to do was protect him."
Miss Allen said she believed the matter had been resolved after Christmas.
"The boy's mother, Hayley, apologised to me and my son and I accepted her apology and that was the end of it as far as I was concerned," said Miss Allen.
"For me, the matter was dealt with."
Miss Allen said she had been hurt that some people believe she was behind the racism allegation.
Elliott's father, Lee Tyler, supported the two mothers.
He said: "It is not Nicola's fault and it is not Hayley's fault.
"We know Nicola did not brand Elliott racist.
"This is not fair to Nicola and her family. She did nothing wrong."
In a statement, head teacher Janet Adamson said the school was satisfied it had acted in "accordance with the council's guidance on the reporting of racist incidents".
Hull East MP Karl Turner said although the school, which is in Barham Road, east Hull, and the city council had a duty to take racism seriously, he did not believe Elliott was being racist.
He said: "I'm satisfied he was not being racist in his remarks but just inquisitive.
"It seems the matter has been taken out of all proportion and common sense seems to have gone completely out of the window."