London, Mar.20 (ANI): The head of a British Muslim school, who was forced into early retirement by stress after being branded a racist, has won 407,781 pounds in damages.
Erica Connor boosted test results, had the backing of her staff and ran a happy school, the High Court in London heard, but her life became a nightmare after Paul Martin and Mumtaz Saleem, both Muslims, joined the board of governors and charged her with racism.
Under Martin and Saleem, Islamophobia began at the Monument Primary School in Woking, Surrey.
Deputy Judge John Leighton Williams QC said: “They sought to monopolise meetings with a view to imposing their own agenda, regardless of the interests of the school and anyone who resisted. What was that agenda? It was at the very least to introduce an increasing role for the Muslim religion.”
He said the governing body was “torn apart”, while morale at the school plunged.
Connor, 57, had a breakdown, and because of post traumatic stress disorder, she can never teach again.
The judge backed the mother of one’s claim against Surrey County Council, saying it was negligent in not giving her support.
It also failed to keep the two governors in check, giving in to “demands, complaints, and suggestions”.
Officials were more concerned about the risk of complaints to the Commission for Racial Equality than the head’s health, the judge said.
He added: “She has suffered greatly.”
Up to 85 per cent of the school’s pupils are Muslim and 90 per cent have English as a second language.
The council denied any wrongdoing.
Connor, who lives with her partner in Esher, said: “The accusations attacked the heart of my values.” (ANI)