Two more staff suspended at school at centre of Prophet Muhammad cartoon row

1 April 2021, 18:17 | Updated: 30 April 2021, 10:46

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: LBC
Vicki Smith

By Vicki Smith

By Harriet Whitehead

Two more members of staff at Batley Grammar School have been suspended, it has been reported.

The school had apologised and suspended a teacher pending an investigation following a protest over the cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad being shown in a class last week.

The picture had been used as part of a religious studies lesson, and the teacher involved has since been suspended and gone into hiding with his partner and four children.

It has since emerged two other teachers have also been suspended although this information was not made available to the public.

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According to Mail Online, one 'school source' said: "Two other teachers are also being investigated but the school has been trying to keep it secret because they don't want attention being drawn to the fact that this went beyond the actions of one person."

It is understood they were aware the material was going to be used, but were not in class when it was shown.

An independent inquiry into the "context" of how children at Batley Grammar School were shown the picture of the Prophet Mohammed has also been announced by the trust running the school.

READ MORE: Teacher suspended for 'showing pupils cartoon of Prophet Muhammad' in lesson

Batley Multi Academy Trust said in statement on Wednesday that an inquiry panel would begin work within a fortnight and said: "We understand everyone will want clarity as soon as possible."

It said: "We're grateful for the constructive engagement with all our stakeholders over the last few days with regard to Batley Grammar, one of the schools within our trust.

"We believe the right way forward is for an independent investigation to review the context in which the materials (which caused offence) were used, and to make recommendations in relation to the Religious Studies curriculum so that the appropriate lessons can be learned and action taken, where necessary."

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The statement added: "We will continue to support the whole school community as the investigation progresses, including all school staff and students.

"We understand everyone will want clarity as soon as possible, so can confirm we expect to be able to announce that we have appointed an independent investigation panel over the next two weeks, with the investigation commencing on the April 12, and anticipate the investigation outcomes towards the end of May."

A petition calling for the suspended teacher to be reinstated has passed more than 60,000 signatures.