North London Collegiate School (NLCS) has responded to a father’s plea that it show transparency in its disciplinary process by threatening the JC.
Last week, the paper ran the story “‘Horror and upset’ over school abuse failure”, in which it spoke to the father of a pupil who suffered verbal abuse from a teacher. The father called for “visible accountability” after the teacher told his daughter, who had jumped the lunch queue: “If you do that, I’ll have to send you to the back of the queue — or to one of your gas chambers.”
According to her father, the school has, as yet, failed to answer how it dealt with the incident. Though they apologised to the family, they would not publicly name the teacher or specify what action had been taken — if any at all.
But following last week’s article, the school responded by having its lawyers write to the paper, demanding a full retraction and apology.
The JC has refused all its demands.
Describing NLCS as “celebrated for its diversity and tolerance”, its lawyers wrote that “the publication of an article which irresponsibly and without justification links it to ‘abuse’ is extremely damaging.” According to the letter, the article — not the incident — is likely to cause “significant damage to the school’s reputation”.
The school has yet to answer how it has dealt with the teacher in question.
Stephen Pollard, editor of the JC, said: “It is scarcely believable that a school that has been criticised for its refusal to explain how it has dealt with a teacher who spoke abusively to a pupil about the Holocaust responds to that criticism by threatening to sue the paper.”