A group of Muslim people gathered in front of a school in West Yorkshire, England on Friday morning to protest a teacher’s showing offensive cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad during a class.
More than 30 parents and relatives of Muslim pupils protested the insulting action under police presence as the Betley Grammar School preferred to switch back to online teaching for the day, according to local media reports.
On Thursday, tens of people gathered in front of the school, calling for the teacher involved in the incident to be sacked.
The school has since suspended the teacher who allegedly showed pupils in a religious studies lesson on March 22 the caricature of the prophet, which is believed to be one of those published by French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Headteacher Gary Kibble apologized “unequivocally” over the incident, adding that the teacher also apologized.
“We have immediately withdrawn teaching on this part of the course and we are reviewing how we go forward with the support of all the communities represented in our school,” he said.
“It is important for children to learn about faiths and beliefs, but this must be done in a sensitive way.”
“#Batley Grammar School is right to acknowledge that the use of such materials – universally understood to be highly offensive to Muslims – is inappropriate,” the Muslim Council of Britain said.
“We commend the swift & unequivocal action taken by the school to address the deep distress caused,” Britain’s biggest Muslim umbrella organization added.
“This case illustrates the importance of close engagement between schools & parents regarding issues, not on the national curriculum. Consultation should be had in advance of anything that may cause communities to feel excluded & victimised.”
Protest ‘not right’: Housing secretary
On the other hand, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said Friday morning that the protest in front of the school was “not right” and “we shouldn’t have teachers feeling intimidated.”
Speaking to Sky News, Jenrick said: “That is not a road we want to go down in this country so I would strongly urge people concerned about this issue not to do that.”
Jenrick added that reports the teacher is now hiding are “very disturbing.”