Parents have reacted with anger after it emerged that pupils at an English school had been sharing classes with a “30-year-old” asylum seeker who is now being investigated by the Home Office.
The man, believed to be an Iranian, allegedly told his Year 11 classmates at Stoke High School in Ipswich that he had told officials he was aged just 15 in order to get GCSEs, because his qualifications were not recognised in Britain.
Authorities are looking into the pupil’s age after outcry from parents of children at the school following an image of the asylum seeker being posted to Snapchat with the message “How’s there a 30-year-old man in our maths class?”, the East Anglian Daily Times reports.
Speaking to the BBC, Lewis Forte, whose step-daughter is a pupil at Stoke High School, said he was unhappy with the school’s response to concerns over the asylum seeker.
“I went to the school to raise concerns about it and the teacher tried to shut me down by saying all his documents were present and correct,” he said.
“If he is a child then I am very sorry but I had a few children in my class who looked old for their age but this is something else.”
UK: Fake ‘Child Refugee’ Gets Weak Sentence for Violent Rape of 14-Year-Old Schoolgirl https://t.co/Yl4joFAOPA
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According to MailOnline, the pupil at the centre of the controversy broke into Britain illegally after travelling from Germany, then was sent to Stoke High School after telling Home Office officials he was a minor.
The mother of a boy who is in the same year said: ‘Parents at the school have been pulling their children out of school left right and centre.
“Looking at photos of this man, he is clearly older than 30. How can someone like this be eating with children, changing with children, and learning with our children while pretending to be a teenager?
“My son has always said that he looks older and he says the man does not even speak English,” she said, stressing she believed the situation was made worse by the school’s lack of communication with parents who were “up in arms and worried about our children’s health and safety”.
Asserting that “undocumented people are being let into our country and no tests are being done to find out their age,” the woman added: “Something needs to be done and soon because this is likely to be happening all over the country and the Home Office is doing very little to help.”
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After media reports that parents were taking to social media to express their displeasure at the pupil’s continued presence in their children’s classes, Stoke High School on Tuesday announced that “the student is not attending the school at this time.
A spokesman said: “This is a matter for the Home Office. They are looking into this after we contacted them.
“We do not comment on individual cases but we have followed government and local authority policies and guidance, as we do for any asylum admissions matter.”
A report last year by the Council of Europe, an international organisation whose best known body is the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), demanded EU nations cease age testing third world migrants who claim to be unaccompanied minors on the basis that such assessments “may be frightening and unsettling for children”.
As Breitbart London reported at the time, the Council instructed in its report that, in the absence of firm evidence that the person is an adult, asylum seekers claiming to be aged under 18 should “be given the benefit of the doubt and presumed to be a child”.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 2, 2016