Muslim students praying outside during cold weather in school – after their teacher kicked them out of the classroom – School apologizes

  • Footage of Oldham Academy North students outside praying for Friday 
  • As school personnel watch, eight boys are seen kneeling down on the ground while staff members appear to be watching.
  • Since then, an investigation was launched after widespread outrage over the video.
  • Academy made a sincere apology and set up a new prayer area. 

After footage of Muslim students praying in cold temperatures caused outrage, a school issued an apology.

After it was revealed that a teacher had “kicked” the boys out of their classroom, the video showed Oldham Academy North male students praying outside.

The clip shows eight boys kneeling on the ground with their heads down, while an adult from the school appears to be watching them.

The boys quickly stood up after they finished their prayers, while still wearing their blazers, school shoes and a prayer book.

Widely criticized, furious viewers described the footage as “distressing” and “disgusting”. 

Oldham Academy North explained to us that 15 classes were closed due to severe flooding. 

After the video went viral, the school made a statement and expressed its regret. It also stated that it had received a full apology. 

The video showing male pupils at Oldham Academy North conducting their Jummah (Friday) prayers outside provoked a furious reaction on social media

A video of Oldham Academy North male students praying outside caused a storm on social media.

According to a former student, the boy was praying in class during last Friday’s lunch break when an employee told them to go.

Because the school did not have a suitable prayer room, the pupils had no choice but to pray outside.

Another report shared by Asian Image appears to corroborate this account, where a pupil claiming to be involved in the incident said an ‘angry’ teacher told the group they were not allowed to pray in the room they were in.

The student explained: ‘We were praying Jummah and a teacher came in and told us we aren’t allowed to pray in that room and she slammed the door and seemed angry. 

Teachers would permit us to pray in the prayer room that we have used for years. 

In the clip, around eight boys can be clearly seen kneeling on the pavement while a member of the school's staff wearing a hi-visibility jacket appears to watch over them

The clip shows eight young boys kneeling down on the ground while an employee of the school wearing a high-visibility jacket watches over them

Since then, Muslim leaders from the community have promised to be closer to the school in order to avoid similar events in the future.

Arooj Shah is the Oldham Council leader. He said that when we became aware of issues at Oldham Academy North we quickly contacted the school to get an understanding.

“Having had a conversation with the school leadership, I am happy they have offered an apology to all those affected. We will also be writing to our parents for clarification.

Oldham is a diverse, proud borough. This makes it a strong point for Oldham Academy North.

“We will continue discussions with the school regarding this matter in order to properly investigate the situation.”

Mufti Helal Mahmood (Oldham Mosques Council Development Officer) stated that he would be working with Oldham Academy North in order to prevent incidents such as this from happening again.

“We have an Oldham tradition of collaboration across diverse faiths.  

“We should not allow ourselves to be divided by issues that arise, but instead work together towards peaceful solutions. 

In a subsequent statement, an academy spokesperson stated that: “Earlier in the week, photos began to circulate online of students from The Oldham Academy North praying outdoors.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience caused. Our diversity is something we are proud of and will never stop our students praying outside or asking them to.

We have been trying to make the academy a place for prayer, but we now work with Oldham Interfaith Forum (Oldham Council) to solve the problem.

“At The Oldham Academy North we believe that our strength is our diversity. Our students, our staff, and communities will all be given the best possible opportunities. We’ll do our very best to make sure they have it.