A teacher who was suspended after showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad to students during an RE class may return to his job because he had no intention of causing any crime, a report of the controversial incident said.
The teacher, who is not named, was head of the RE department of Batley Grammar School, but is still in hiding with his family after furious protests in March.
Two of his colleagues who were also suspended for showing similar photos he took for classes at the West Yorkshire school are also allowed to return to work.
A report on the affair at the West Yorkshire School, conducted by the Batley Academy Trust, which runs the school, said that while it was not necessary for the teacher to use the material in question, they ‘sincerely believed’ that the use of the image had educational purposes and was not intended to be offensive.
The teacher, who is not named, was head of the RE department of Batley Grammar School, but is still in hiding with his family after furious protests in March. Pictured: protests outside of Batley on March 26
The report added: ‘The independent investigation has been completed and the Trust has accepted that the teaching staff who developed and taught the lesson sincerely believed that the use of the image had an educational purpose and benefit and that it was not used with the intention to offend. .
The image is included to initiate a discussion about the meaning of “blasphemy.”
Nonetheless, the Trust recognizes that the use of the image has seriously offended a number of students, parents and members of our school community.
The Trust deeply regrets the suffering this has caused. The Trust also believes that the topics covered in the lesson could have been effectively tackled in other ways and without using the image. ‘
Despite his suspension being lifted, the teacher’s father told MailOnline that he is unlikely to return to the school.
The father, who is not mentioned by name, added: “He is not very happy. His whole life is turned upside down. ‘
The teacher’s neighbors also told MailOnline that he had moved permanently from his childhood home just outside of Batley and was now living in a secret location.
The report stated that teaching materials will be more rigorously monitored in the future and staff will also receive more training to understand their students’ sensitivities.
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 making sure no offense is caused is a path to censorship and sets a very bad precedent.
On March 24, the teacher was suspended and the school accompanied her unconditional apology with the announcement of an independent panel to investigate. Pictured: Protesters outside the school
The outcome of this local survey will affect the ability of teachers to do their work across the country. Thus, the government should question the failure to demonstrate leadership when fundamental principles were at stake.
“Teachers should be able to explore challenging issues in the classroom and not face a religious veto over the resources they can use.”
The Mail on Sunday was told by a 14-year-old Muslim student that the feud started after cartoons featuring the Prophet were shown on an overhead projector, along with other images of former US President Donald Trump, Pope Francis and Boris Johnson.
The Prophet cartoons were first published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 and again in the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, later the target of a shootout that killed 12 members of staff.
The schoolboy said the students didn’t know who was in the cartoons until the teacher said it was the prophet and asked for their response.
Nobody said anything. I was just amazed. But no one raised their hand to speak, ”the student said.
The teenager said the teacher, a declared atheist, was popular with students and had never shown any disrespect for Islam before. ‘He never said anything bad, but he likes to challenge the students. That’s the way he learns. ‘
When the class was over and the students started filing, the teacher asked, “So who’s going to tell their parents tonight?”
The 14-year-old was among those who did, exchanging messages on a parent WhatsApp group first and then complaining to the school.
One parent claims to have spoken to the teacher on the phone and wrote on social media: ‘I got a call from Mr. *****. I asked him to confirm something [my son] told me and he agreed. He [claimed] he has freedom of speech under his British values and could use that image. He stated that he had obtained prior consent from the children. ‘
The next day, dozens of Muslim protesters stood at the school gate and demanded that the teacher be fired.
On March 24, the teacher was suspended and the school accompanied her unconditional apology with the announcement of an independent panel to investigate.
More than 130 Muslim clerics – including Imam Shahzad – wrote an open letter to Boris Johnson, accusing the teacher of “white supremacist ideology.”