My torment at hands of racist school bullies, by Sajid Javid
SAJID Javid revealed yesterday he was subjected to a racist attack at school when he was just 11.
The Home Secretary said he was ‘punched to the ground’ for being Asian in his first year at secondary school.
He said he had been reminded of his ordeal after footage emerged of a ‘waterboard’ attack on a 15-year-old Syrian boy.
The video showed the refugee, named only as Jamal, being attacked by another boy at a school in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. He was dragged to the floor and water was poured on his face. Mr Javid said he had suffered a ‘very similar incident’.
He told the BBC: ‘I saw the video like anyone else and part of me was clearly absolutely outraged. It reminded me of an incident I had myself when I was 11 at school. That’s the immediate memories that came back to me and I hated it and I thought how that young boy must feel.’
The Cabinet minister said he ‘was punched to the ground ... because I was Asian’.
After watching the video of the attack on Jamal, Mr Javid said his initial thought was: ‘How can this kind of thing still be going on in our country?’
He added: ‘I really felt for the young boy that was involved. When the investigation is over I’d like him to come see me with his family and at least just have a cup of tea or something.’
Mr Javid’s parents emigrated to the UK from Pakistan in the early 1960s. He was born in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, before moving to Bristol aged four when his father
‘Punched to the ground’
opened a shop in the city. He attended Downend Comprehensive School between 1981 and 1986. It is understood that the abuse he referred to happened at this school.
One of Mr Javid’s former classmates, who described the future home secretary as ‘very quiet’, told the Daily Mail yesterday that racism was not unusual at the school.
The woman, who did not want to be named, said: ‘It probably would have happened, to be honest. I’d been on holiday once so I was tanned and I’d had my hair permed and I got a nasty, racist name called to me at the school.’
Downend did not respond to requests for a comment.
A boy of 16 is to appear before a youth court over the attack on Jamal.