A horrified mother has withdrawn her daughter from school over ‘explicit’ toy dolls which she claims are inappropriate and unsuitable for young children.
Ziba Khan took her four-year-old out of the Forest Lodge Academy in Leicester in November after discovering the youngster had been playing with dolls which have male genitalia.
She insists the dolls have no ‘educational value’ and promote a ‘premature exploration of body of opposite sex’ but the academy has refused to stop giving them to children.
Ziba Khan claims these dolls used by the Forest Lodge Academy are ‘inappropriate’ for her daughter
Ms Khan, from New Parks in Leicester, said: ‘My daughter started coming home and talking about willies and I wondered where on earth she had got this from.
‘My eldest daughter is a teacher and she suggested I ask the school, so I did.
‘They told me it was just a toy that they had in the early years foundation stage but as a parent I was completely unaware they existed and I can’t see any educational value to a four year-old having one.
‘It’s not part of the curriculum. I’m not against sex education but this isn’t part of that.
Ziba Khan took her four-year-old out of the academy in Leicester in November
‘It’s taken away my right as a parent to introduce and discuss that sort of thing with her.
‘Parents should be made aware. I’ve spoken to quite a few of them about this with children the same age and they feel the same as me.
‘The dolls are explicit and there’s just no need for them.
‘There’s a difference between teaching a child using a doll like that and a child playing with one.’
Mrs Khan has written to the school to express her concerns.
Her letter states: ‘I made the choice to separate my son and daughter’s bath time, to avoid what I believe is premature exploration of the body of the opposite sex.
‘I would like to highlight that educating my daughter about the body is not an issue that I believe should not be avoided for an unhealthy amount of time, however as her parent I planned to explain and educate her at an age I deem appropriate.’
She said that staff had refused to take the dolls away so she withdrew her daughter.
However, she said in all other respects the school was a ‘good’ establishment and she fully intended to send her daughter back eventually.
She has also complained to Leicester City Council and the Department for Education.
She added: ‘The Department for Education said that it was up to the individual head teacher at the school to decide if the dolls remained but that she could request her child was exempt from playing with it.’
Forest Lodge is part of the L.E.A.D Academy Trust based in Nottingham.
A spokesman for the local authority – which acted on behalf of the school before it converted to an academy – said: ‘This issue is being dealt with through the usual city council complaints procedure.
‘There is a complaints panel hearing taking place this week which Ms Khan has been invited to attend.
‘Therefore it wouldn’t be appropriate to comment further at this time.’