Teacher Returns After Being Suspended For Showing Cartoon Of Prophet Muhammad To Kids
A teacher who was suspended after showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad to pupils during a religious class lesson is to be allowed to return to his job because he did not mean to cause any offense, a report into the controversial incident has concluded.
The teacher, who is not being named, was head of Batley Grammar School’s Religious department but remains in hiding with his family following furious protests in March.
Two of his colleagues who were also suspended for displaying similar pictures produced by him for the lessons at the West Yorkshire school are also being allowed to return to work.
A report into the affair at the West Yorkshire School conducted by the Batley Academy Trust, which runs the school said that although it was not necessary for the teacher to use the material in question, they ‘genuinely believed’ using the image had educational purposes and didn’t mean to cause offense.
The report added:
The independent investigation has concluded, and the Trust has accepted that the teaching staff who developed and delivered the lesson genuinely believed that using the image had an educational purpose and benefit and that it was not used with the intention of causing offence. The image was included to initiate a discussion about the meaning of “blasphemy”. Nevertheless, the Trust recognises that using the image did cause deep offence to a number of students, parents and members of our school community. The Trust deeply regrets the distress this has caused. The Trust also considers that the topics covered by the lesson could have been effectively addressed in other ways and without using the image.’
Despite the lifting of his suspension, the teacher’s father said that he is unlikely to return to the school according to Daily Mail.
The father, who is not being named, added: ‘He’s not very happy. His whole life has been turned upside down.’
Commenting on the report, Stephen Evans, Chief Executive of the National Secular Society said:
The decision to lift the suspensions against the affected teachers is welcome. But the trust’s stated commitment to ensuring offence is not caused is a route to censorship and sets a very poor precedent.