England: Case against nine pupils arrested on allegations of racism against a Jewish teacher has been dropped
Herts and Essex Newspapers:
The grandmother of one of the accused spoke out against the police operation and told the Mercury that some parents were considering legal action against Herts Constabulary.
The boys - four aged 15 and five aged 16 - were arrested at Chauncy School, Ware, after Jewish technology teacher David Appleman complained about the phrase 'Yid Army' being chanted at his leaving party.
The incident was captured on video and posted on the website www.youtube.com The footage, since removed, was seized by police for evidence.
The grandmother explained that her grandson was unaware at the time that 'yid' was a derogatory slang term for a Jew.
"He thought 'Yid Army' was one word sung by the crowd at Tottenham [FC] games. None of the students had any idea of what they were singing," she said.
"When we explained afterwards what it meant, he asked: 'Why should we be locked up for that?' He's just like any other teenage boy - he's not a racist."
She recalled the horror felt by her daughter and son-in-law when they received the call saying that their son was being held at Bishop's Stortford police station.
"You can't just round up nine pupils, take them out of class and stick them in the cells before notifying the parents," she said.
She said her grandson had been "shell-shocked" by the affair and that the families concerned had been very upset with it "hanging over their heads" since the arrests on March 6.
"Some of the parents have sought legal advice and are already in the process of making big waves about it," she said, adding her thanks to the school for its support.
Headteacher Dennis O'Sullivan said: "I'm relieved for the children, who are all taking GCSE exams this month and have had their studies severely disrupted by this investigation."
A Herts police spokeswoman said: "We believe the arrest of nine pupils from the school in connection with the allegations was justified. We are duty bound to fully investigate incidents of this nature.
"The decision to not prosecute the pupils has been made by the Crown Prosecution Service at the highest level . . . and has also been endorsed by the director of public prosecutions, Sir Ken McDonald."
She added that it was standard practice to inform the parents of any juvenile arrested once they have been taken to the station.
"The school also had an obligation to tell the parents," she added.
No charges for racist chant boys