A boy who suffers from asthma has been refused a place on a school bus and told that he must walk six miles home because he is not a Christian.
This is the second high profile case this month in which a child has been banned from a bus because they weren't baptised .
Thomas Rosevear, 13, a pupil at a Church of England comprehensive school, was stopped at the door of the bus as his friends got on. When his mother, Lin, complained she was told that if she wanted a pass she would have to pay £270 because her son was not a Christian, reports the Times newspaper.
Mrs Rosevear, described as 'a lapsed Baptist', said: ìIt is absolutely outrageous. My child is being discriminated against because I didnít have him baptised. How dare they play God with demands like this.î
Her son, a pupil at St Mark Church of England voluntary aided school in Larkhall, Bath, had received a free bus pass for the previous two years.
Mrs Rosevear said: ìMy sonís lack of religion has never been a problem before, so why now? They let him into the school, so why canít he get the bus just because he doesnít share their beliefs? If they let him go to the school, why are they demanding so much money to let him get the bus there? It is hardly the most Christian thing to do.î
Cherril Pope, head teacher at St Markís, said that Thomas should not have been turned away, adding: ìWe are obviously very sorry that any of our children had to walk home under any circumstances.î
A spokesman for Bath and North East Somerset Council said: ìChildren at faith schools who are baptised into the faith of their school and who live beyond the statutory distance from the school are entitled to free home-to-school transport.î
He added: ìTom was previously issued with a free bus pass because of an error in the applications system. We are investigating how this happened.î He said that Thomas would be given a temporary bus pass valid until Christmas.
Earlier this month Sydnie Jai from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, was prevented from travelling to attend Townsend School in St Albans, travelling by bus as her two brothers had done for some years, because she was not baptised. A few days ago however she was found a place through a "reshuffle" .