Scottish mum hits out at school’s ‘inappropriate’ Union task

A SCOTTISH mum has hit out at a Dumfries and Galloway school for giving her children an “inappropriate” homework assignment that involved decorating the garden with Union flags for VE Day.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said instead her two daughters have decorated the garden with Scottish flags.

She tweeted: “My kids have been given homework from the school to decorate the garden with Union Jacks and have a garden party on Friday and take pictures (cringe) the only flag I own is this one [saltire emoji] so that’s what they are getting and they had better not say anything about it!”

The tweet has received more than 3000 likes since Monday. People branded the assignment “shocking” and “disgraceful”, pointing out that they are not surprised a school in Scottish Secretary Alister Jack’s constituency set such a task.

The woman told The National: “I felt it was inappropriate. I would have felt better if it was Victory in Europe rather than them displaying the Union flag. The headteacher said ‘Union Jack’ which isn’t even the proper term.

“I would never buy a Union flag as I support Scottish independence. I don’t think the words ‘Union Jack’ should be used as schools are supposed to be politically neutral.”

She said her daughter has told her teacher that they will not be including Union flags in their display.

“I felt it was kind of being forced on them even though the tasks are not mandatory,” she added. “It’s like telling children to celebrate something not in their religion. My daughter asked why we should display Union flags when it was victory in Europe.”

The woman said her children asked her what VE Day was when they received the task and have heard a lot about the Second World War from her father.

She added: “They are of the opinion war shouldn’t be celebrated as they have heard a lot about it from my dad growing up. He felt it was holding it against Germans now as most of the soldiers are dead.”

She said she did not complain to other parents or the school as she is about to train to become a primary teacher and one of her placements could be in that school.

The assignment is part of the twice-weekly “headteacher’s challenge”.

“Other tasks have been lovely – pictures for old folks homes and stuff like that,” the woman said. “I don’t think Brexit has helped in the matter. Theresa May didn’t make a big deal of VE Day. It has lots to do with Boris Johnson wanting to be the next Churchill. Scotland can’t agree on independence but we can agree that we should stay in the EU.”

A spokesperson from Dumfries and Galloway Council said: “Schools across Scotland are accessing online resources from organisations, such as Poppy Scotland, for activities to support children and young people learning from home. As [today] marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day, several of our schools have themed their learning and teaching around this significant event.”

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