Scotland’s only Jewish faith school is to employ a full-time security guard in response to parents’ concerns for pupils’ safety.
Police and council officials put Calderwood Lodge Primary School in Glasgow on high alert after last January’s terrorist attacks in Paris, and the school felt targeted when anti-Israel stickers began appearing on nearby lampposts.
Tim Lovatt, from the school’s parent council, said: “We held a parent forum meeting to ask for a mandate to ask the council for the security guard and there was overwhelming support to have security. You can’t protect your children enough.”
Funding for security guards at Jewish schools in England and Wales was introduced in 2010. In March prime minister David Cameron announced an extra £11m, including £7m is for guards outside more than 100 Jewish schools and £3m for protecting synagogues.
Two thirds of the antisemitic incidents recorded in Scotland last year took place in Glasgow. A recent poll suggested that 64 percent of Scottish Jews had “witnessed or experienced more antisemitism than in previous years”.
Although Calderwood Lodge is a Jewish faith school with a curriculum including Hebrew and Jewish culture, many of its 150 pupils are Muslim, Christian or have no religion.
An East Renfrewshire council spokeswoman said: “Following feedback from parents and the release of additional funding from the UK Government, it has been agreed that a security guard will be employed at Calderwood Lodge to support the school’s existing security procedures. The funding from the government is in place to support existing security measures at Jewish schools and organisations across the UK. There have not been any security threats at Calderwood Lodge or in the local community. This decision has been taken as a result of parental feedback and takes advantage of the additional funding available.”
Earlier this month it was reported that Jewish students in Scotland were afraid to reveal their Jewish identity.
Source: The National