Teacher who showed 'Prophet Muhammad cartoon' to pupils 'backed by student petition'

26 March 2021, 15:02 | Updated: 26 March 2021, 15:09

Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire has been criticised for showing an "inappropriate" cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad
Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire has been criticised for showing an "inappropriate" cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

A petition backing the Batley Grammar School teacher who showed an "inappropriate" cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad has been set up, purportedly by a student.

Protesters gathered outside the school in West Yorkshire over the past two days after the image was shown to children in a religious studies lesson.

The teacher has been suspended pending an investigation and is reportedly under police protection, while the school has moved to remote learning today.

The online petition, set up by a user called "A BGS student", states the teacher "was trying to educate students about racism and blasphemy".

However, it is not yet clear whether it was set up by a student of the school.

LBC has asked to speak to the petition’s creator through the petition website.

It adds: "He warned the students before showing the images and he had the intent to educate them.

Local Batley charity CEO calls for teacher to resign

"He does not deserve such large repercussions.

"He is not racist and did not support the Islamophobic cartoons in any manner."

Depictions of Prophet Muhammad are deemed offensive in Islam and sparked outrage and protests in past instances.

Dozens of pupils and parents and a local religious scholar turned up at the school today.

Parents were told last night and this morning that the school was going to switch to remote learning today.

"Think of those who would be affected due to this lesson spiralled (sic) out of hand?" the petition adds.

Nick Ferrari questions Government Minister over suspended teacher

"Teachers, the school, the community, children, the RS teacher's family and his own financial stability since he will no longer be able to land a job due to the fact that his reputation has been tarnished. The issue is already nationwide."

Earlier today, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told LBC he was “deeply troubled” by reports the teacher was in hiding.

"This is a country based on free speech, and teachers should be able to tackle difficult and controversial issues in the classroom and issues shouldn't be censored," he told Nick Ferrari.

"And secondly, and most importantly, it is absolutely unacceptable for teachers and staff in our schools to be threatened or intimidated.”

He added that schools, parents and children should not feel “intimidated” coming in to school.

He said worries about the teacher were "reminiscent of the scenes we saw in France", in reference to the killing of Samuel Paty last year, a history teacher who showed a class a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad.

Batley Grammar School has been contacted for comment.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Prince William has called for an end to the Israel-Hamas war

Prince William ‘knew making plea for permanent peace in Gaza would cause controversy’ - but ‘felt he had no choice’

Alexei Navalny was 'murdered' by Putin

Putin plans to launch ‘killing spree’ against Russia critics in the UK after Alexei Navalny 'murder'

Defendant Ruby Franke looks on during court in St George, Utah

YouTuber Ruby Franke apologises at sentencing in child abuse case

Duane 'Keffe D' Davis in court during a status hearing at the Regional Justice Centre in Las Vegas

Ex-gang leader’s murder trial over Tupac Shakur killing pushed back to November

Ruby Franke will serve up to 60 years in prison

Parenting advice YouTuber and influencer Ruby Franke jailed for abusing her children

Shehbaz Sharif

Rivals of Pakistan ex-premier Khan name Shehbaz Sharif as joint candidate for PM

Palestinian crowds struggle to buy bread from a bakery in Rafah, Gaza Strip

UN World Food Programme suspends aid amid chaos in northern Gaza

The Security Council meets before voting on a resolution concerning a ceasefire in Gaza at United Nations headquarters

US vetoes UN resolution demanding immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza

Under the order, Lingham is banned from entering Holt Lowes between February 1 and October 1.

Shell-shocked: 'Addicted' Norfolk man 'illegally collected 3,000 native bird eggs'

In an apparent attempt to get ahead of another possible rebellion, Labour on Tuesday tabled its lengthy amendment, which will be voted on tomorrow.

'I want to do what is right': Labour's ceasefire motion is 'broader' and 'goes further' than the SNP's, says David Lammy

Prince William has called for an end to the Israel-Hamas war

Israel says Gaza war will only end when 'Hamas is dismantled' in direct reply to Prince William’s intervention

David Neal has been sacked by the Home Office

Home Office fires immigration chief inspector David Neal after claims about security risks at major London airport

Exclusive
Shahd Waleed is trying to leave Rafah with her parents and enter Egypt

'They want us to experience pain': Young woman trapped in Rafah with her parents tells of terror as Israel invasion looms

Gabriela was fired from her job cleaning at Devonshires

Cleaner ‘fired after taking leftover £1.50 tuna sandwich’ speaks out against ‘unfair bosses’ as protesters target law firm

Before this announcement, Tesco only showed unit pricing on normal prices and not their special Clubcard prices.

Tesco announce big change to how it displays Clubcard prices - and it could save you money

Russian defector Maksim Kuzminov at a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, in September 2023

Spanish police suspect bullet-riddled body may be that of Russian who defected