The problems surfaced when Muslim girls attending Holly Lodge Girls’ College in Liverpool, where 10 per cent of the 1,274 students are from ethnic minorities, approached Amina Ismail, who works at Liverpool John Moores University.
“They (schoolgirls) said people driving past were being abusive because they were wearing the hijab. They (bus drivers) should not push their personal prejudices on young people,” the ‘Daily Express’ quoted Ismail, as saying.
The college, with pupils aged from 11 to 18, has previously won praise from Ofsted for its ‘promotion of equality and diversity.’
“There have been a small number of cases where ignorant people have directed racist comments at our pupils while on buses. It is completely unacceptable and very upsetting. We have provided support to those affected,” Headteacher Julia Tinsley said.
“We welcome the assistance from Merseyside police in tackling the mindless minority who think it is acceptable to make racist comments,” she added.
Muslim community leaders in Merseyside said the bus driver row was part of a long-running racism issue.
Liverpool City councillor Paul Clein said any driver deliberately failing to stop was ‘guilty of racism and bullying.’
A Merseyside police spokesman said: “We will be putting police community support officers on public buses during the periods these incidents are happening to reassure passengers and deter would-be offenders.”