Britain’s ‘strictest headmistress’ claims she’s been reported to police for a ‘HATE CRIME’ after inviting controversial right-wing Canadian professor Jordan Peterson to speak at school in Wembley
- Head Katharine Birbalsingh invited Jordan Peterson to see her pupils on Friday
- Respected head went on to receive a wave of abuse and demands for her sacking
- Teacher suggested backlash disproved claims that ‘cancel culture doesn’t exist’
Britain’s ‘strictest headmistress’ has slammed critics who she says reported her to police for a hate crime for inviting a controversial Canadian professor to visit her award-winning school.
Katharine Birbalsingh, whose Michaela Community School in north London recently saw 80 per cent of its students achieve 4+ (C) or more in their GCSEs despite being non-selective, invited Jordan Peterson to see her pupils on Friday.
After she tweeted about the visit, the respected teacher – who is a British government‘s social mobility tsar – went on to receive a wave of abuse and calls for her to be sacked.
Ms Birbalsingh shared two photos of Peterson at her school last week, tweeting: ‘Look who is at Michaela today!’ In another post, she said the controversial media personality was ‘moved’ and ‘tears fell’ as pupils wished him a good morning
Following a backlash, Ms Birbalsingh wrote this weekend: ‘I tweeted photos of Jordan Peterson’s visit to Michaela. Like this one. They reported me to the police for hate crime. Many pleas to Ofsted for an immediate inspection.
‘Cries of safeguarding concerns. Demands for my removal as Head. But they deny cancel culture exists.’
Katharine Birbalsingh announced on Friday that she had invited Jordan Peterson to Michaela Community School in north London
Following a backlash, Ms Birbalsingh suggested it proves cancel culture does exist
Peterson’s past scandals on gender, race and masculinity
2016: Slammed proposed Canadian legislation that would ban discrimination based on ‘gender identity or gender expression’, claiming it would threaten free speech
2017: Claimed that ‘the idea of white privilege is absolutely reprehensible’ because ‘most people have all sorts of privilege’
2018: Told British TV network Channel 4 that men need to ‘grow the hell up’ and ‘adopt responsibility’ while discussing the crisis of masculinity. Also claimed that the gender pay gap was not ‘only due to sex’
2019: Cambridge University withdrew Peterson’s fellowship after facing furious backlash for announcing ten-part lecture series
2020: Peterson’s daughter Mikhaila revealed that he had been hospitalized in Russia after developing a severe dependence on anti-anxiety medication benzodiazepines. She claimed that he ‘nearly died several times… from what the medical system did to him in the West’
Late 2020: Staff at Penguin Random House Canada attempt to block the publication of his self-help book Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, slamming Peterson as an ‘icon of white supremacy and hate speech’
2021: Tells The Sunday Times that he had become suicidal as a result of his benzodiazepine dependence and shared that he had to be put in an induced coma while hospitalized in Russia
May 2022: Calls plus-size Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model ‘not beautiful,’ and further claiming ‘no amount of authoritarian tolerance is going to change that.’
Peterson, a psychologist and professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, is a controversial figure in left-wing circles due to his conservative views on free speech, gender identification and climate change.
During his rise to fame, Peterson has described himself as a ‘professor against political correctness’. The 60-year-old has been particularly outspoken about masculinity and has previously stated that the masculine spirit is ‘under assault’.
Man Utd star Cristiano Ronaldo received a backlash on Twitter two weeks ago when he shared a photo of him with Peterson and referred to the academic as ‘my friend’.
Earlier this year, Peterson was suspended from Twitter after a tweet about transgender Hollywood actor Elliot Page which ‘mis-gendered’ the star by calling him ‘her’ and used his birth name, Ellen.
‘Remember when pride was a sin? And Ellen Page just had her breasts removed by a criminal physician,’ Peterson wrote.
Today, the Met Police said it had ‘no knowledge’ of any crime reports concerning Ms Birbalsingh.
The headmistress, who landed a role as the Government’s social mobility tsar in 2021, has said tough love is the key to high achievement.
After a follower recently asked for tips for a young teacher on how to take control of a classroom, she replied with ‘a little advice’.
She wrote: ‘1. Mean what you say, say what you mean: always follow through.
‘2. Show them you love them, smile and laugh WITH them.
‘3. Sweat the small stuff, but warn before: ‘you will get a detention if you rock on your chair’
‘4. Always go to bed before 10pm.’
After the school published its latest GCSE results, the head clarified her stance on strictness, saying: ”An example of the mistake we make in thinking “strict and being in authority” is the same as “authoritarianism”.
‘Strict is immersed in love with high standards, not allowing kids to let themselves down.
‘The adult must be in a position of authority to lead.
During his rise to fame, Peterson – seen with Ms Birbalsingh and some of her pupils – has described himself as a ‘professor against political correctness’
Man Utd star Cristiano Ronaldo received a backlash on Twitter two weeks ago when he shared a photo of him with Peterson and referred to the academic as ‘my friend’
Ms Birbalsingh has been influential in Tory circles since winning a standing ovation at the Conservative Party conference after she delivered a damning indictment of ‘utterly chaotic’ state schools in 2010.
The former Marxist turned conservative was the surprise star when she laid bare an education system in which children were ‘lost in a sea of bureaucracy’. She won a CBE in 2020.
However, her outspokenness cost her her job as a deputy head teacher at the time. She went on to found the Michaela Community School in 2014.
MailOnline has contacted her for comment.
Britain’s ‘tiger headmistress’ took on her own school where students must ‘dress smartly’ and phones are BANNED
By Jo Tweedy for MailOnline
Katharine Birbalsingh won a standing ovation at the Conservative Party conference after she delivered a damning indictment of ‘utterly chaotic’ state schools in 2010.
But soon afterwards she was sent home from her school in Camberwell, South London, after her speech, and lost her job as a deputy head teacher at the inner city academy.
The former Marxist turned conservative was the surprise star of the Tory conference when she laid bare an education system in which children were ‘lost in a sea of bureaucracy’.
Birbalsingh’s techniques include teaching incoming pupils in Year 7 how to sit properly on a classroom chair
She said schools were crippled by league tables, exams were dumbed down and ‘well meaning liberal’ teachers refused to discipline black children for fear of being called racist.
The Oxford University graduate also admitted that she had voted Conservative for the first time after a decade working in state schools having supported Labour.
She was born in New Zealand, the elder of two daughters of Frank Birbalsingh, an academic, and his wife, Norma, a nurse.
After leaving Oxford she began working in inner city schools in South London. After her sacking in 2010 she wrote several books before becoming head of Michaela Community School in Wembley, having founded the school in 2014 with Suella Braverman, who is now a Tory MP.
She was dubbed the ‘tiger headmistress’ for how she runs her school, where Year 7 pupils are taught how to sit properly on a chair.
New students are also shown how to walk to lessons quickly in single file and how to concentrate on the teacher and to instill good behaviour as soon as they arrive, while mobile phones are banned.
They are told to keep their shirts tucked in and to pick up crumbs from the floor after eating at a boot camp, which teaches pupils how to ‘behave in the Michaela way’.
She was voted in the top 20 most influential people in British education in 2017 and given a CBE for services to education in 2020.
In October 2021, she was appointed Chair of the Social Mobility Commission.
She has has never spoken publicly about her private life, other than about her parents, and is understood not to have any children saying previously she is ‘completely dedicated’ to her work.