In the assembly, Mr Roper began by saying he had spoken to the pupils wearing the lanyards and that they were “so articulate in how they felt about innocent people in the Middle East and how they were being treated”.
He added: “But the problem is by using a symbol such as the Palestinian flag that message is lost because for some people they see that flag and they feel threatened, they feel unsafe.
Footage of the assembly was then shared on social media and sparked a furious reaction.
Police were stationed outside the school on Monday afternoon as around 20 pro-Palestine activists slammed his comments as “inflammatory”.
Yasmin Ahmed, 30, who attended the demonstration, told the Telegraph: “The kids at that school were displaying the Palestinian flag in a peaceful way to make a statement about how they felt about what is happening over there, and to display their anger and their solidarity.
“I am deeply sorry that a particular example I used in that assembly, referring to the Palestinian flag, has caused such upset within the community. That was never my intention.
“The full message shared with students last week praised our students’ passion for their views and beliefs. It set out how we want to work through the issues highlighted with our students in an informed and respectful way.”
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