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UK Nursery Tries To 'De-Redicalise' 4-Year-Old For Pronouncing Cucumber Wrong

Cucumbers
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Cucumbers

A nursery in Luton, a town in United Kingdom, suggested a four-year-old boy should be referred to a counter-terrorism project after he mispronounced the word “cucumber” as “cooker bomb”.

The Asian family told TV channels that concerns were raised with them after the child drew a picture of a man cutting a cucumber with a large knife.

When he was asked about the drawing, the child apparently said it's a "cooker bomb". The staff then at the nursery complained to the boy’s mother and allegedly suggested a de-radicalisation scheme called Channel, which aims to provide help to anyone who is at risk of being drawn into terrorism.

In the last 4 years, more than 1,800 children have been referred to the de-radicalisation programme.

"[The member of staff] kept saying it was this one picture of the man cutting the cucumber....which she said to me is a 'cooker bomb', and I was baffled," the 4-year-old's mother told the BBC Asian Network.

Four-year-old's cucumber drawing prompts de-radicalisation call https://t.co/nQwC10KvsCpic.twitter.com/UChxLpnqjz

— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 11, 2016

When the staff kept insisting that the child be sent to the de-radicalisation programme, the mother refused: "She was adamant I had to sign it and I said, 'well I’m not going to because I don’t agree with what you’ve written', and I said I’m not a terrorist, my son is not a terrorist'."

The Bedfordshire nursery eventually did not report the case to Channel but instead reported it to a panel which included police and social services, who decided that there was no need for further action.

The issue comes against the backdrop of a debate about how schools and teachers are dealing with the pressures of government anti-extremism initiatives, designed to stop British youngsters being lured by Islamic State propaganda.

In January it was claimed a 10-year-old Muslim boy was visited by police after he wrote "terrorist house" - instead of "terraced house" during a school lesson. Last year, a Muslim schoolboy in north London was questioned about ISIS after a classroom discussion about environmental activism, the Guardian reported.

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This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost India, which closed in 2020. Some features are no longer enabled. If you have questions or concerns about this article, please contact indiasupport@huffpost.com.