14 June 2007
Tribunal rejects discrimination claim from 'I don't do witchcraft' teacher
A Pentecostal Christian teaching assistant who would not let her pupils read Harry Potter books in class because she perceived that they promoted witchcraft has lost an employment tribunal.
Sariya Allan, 47, was working at the Durand Primary School in Stockwell when she refused to let a child read the books on the grounds that: "I don't do witchcraft."
After staff took disciplinary action against her over her actions, she left her position in July 2006.
Ms Allan then pursued legal action against the school alleging that she had been the victim of religious discrimination, since reading the books would entail her compromising her beliefs.
However, this claim was rejected by Croydon Employment Tribunals since it deemed there was insufficient evidence of discriminatory treatment and that the staff had who disciplined her had done so on reasonable grounds.
Commenting on the case to icSouthlondon, Ms Allan said: "I felt I had to go for it. There were so many issues with Durand. I've no regrets."
She added: "It's a book of witchcraft and witchcraft is an abomination to God. That's what I said at the time and I still stand by that. I will take advice but I want to appeal on the basis of harassment, victimisation and that my faith was rubbished."