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02nd Apr 2021

Two more teachers ‘suspended’ over Prophet Muhammad cartoon controversy

Claudia McInerney

This comes after an ‘offensive’ image of the Prophet Muhammad was shown in a West Yorkshire Grammar School

Two more teachers, who have not been named, have been suspended after pupils at a grammar school in West Yorkshire were shown an ‘offensive’ image of the Prophet Muhammad as part of a Religious Studies lesson, it has been reported.

In the Islamic way-of-thinking, depicting the Prophet Muhammad is extremely problematic and is often deemed offensive and disrespectful.

This sparked anger among parents at the school, who protested outside the gates of Batley Grammar school for two days after the incident.

A source from the school told the MailOnline that the lesson on blasphemy was part of the curriculum, but permission had not been granted by school leaders to show the image of the Prophet Muhammad.

The 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.

“They were not in the class at time but were aware that offensive material was going to be used, it is claimed.”

The source said that the image shown in the Religious Studies class was from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

“Blasphemy features on the school curriculum and images have been used before by teachers. But not this one,” the source said.

“This was the first time that this particular image was shown during a lesson,” the source added.

“This picture was not part of the approved teaching materials and we do not know why the teacher chose it. It appears, there were no proper checks in place.

“There is nothing to suggest that either of them used this particular image themselves in lessons, but they knew what was going on and it points to a breakdown in the system.”

The source told the MailOnline that, depictions of the Prophet Muhammad have been shown in Religious Studies lessons on blasphemy in previous years, however teachers forewarn pupils about it in case they wish to leave the classroom.

“Clearly something has gone horribly wrong on this occasion and this is what the investigation will attempt to establish so that it does not happen again,” the source said.

Following the incident, the Headteacher of Batley Grammar School, Gary Kibble said: “The school unequivocally apologises for using a totally inappropriate resource in a recent religious studies lesson.”