Lancashire

Black Lives Matter: Blackburn school 'sorry' for using Shrek as teaching aid

Shrek Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Shrek features in four films, all of which see him ridiculed and shunned for his appearance

A Church of England school has apologised after using the film character Shrek to teach pupils about Black Lives Matter.

The cartoon ogre appeared in a St Matthew’s Primary School newsletter as an "assembly resource" to help teach about the movement's "empathy, diversity and collective value".

Head teacher Julian Rogers said he was "truly sorry" if it "caused offence".

Blackburn with Darwen Council said it was "aware" of a complaint.

In a letter to parents, Mr Rogers said the "intention was to give parents and their children the opportunity to discuss the message of acceptance and respect of all people".

He wrote that his "multicultural school" promoted "fundamental British values", two of which were "mutual respect and tolerance of different religions and cultures".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The school said it had received no complaints from parents

He said that after the "death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, I shared an assembly resource" in a newsletter about home-schooling.

"The Black Lives Matter movement has 13 guiding principles.

"This assembly resource was not intended to address all these; rather to focus on a few – empathy, diversity and collective value.

“The choice of character was based on a figure that would be familiar to the children."

He added that Shrek was "a character who experiences discrimination and prejudice based on his outward appearance".

"I am truly sorry if the choice of character used caused offence."

The Blackburn school said it had received no complaints from parents.

The council’s head of education, Jo Siddle, said the authority was "aware that there had been a complaint".

She added that the council "has a wide programme available to support schools with a variety of home resources for schools, teachers and parents".

The character of the bad-tempered ogre Shrek appears in four films, all of which see him mocked and shunned for his appearance before being eventually accepted.

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