Batley Grammar School apologises after Prophet Mohammad cartoons shown to pupils

Teacher suspended as parents protest outside front gate

Police positioned outside the school gates. Angry parents are protesting outside a Batley Grammar School, West Yorks, after a teacher allegedly showed derogatory caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, pictured in West Yorks, March 25 2021.  See SWNS story SWLEprotest.
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The head teacher of a school in England has apologised to parents after a teacher showed pupils satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

The cartoons, taken from French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, were shown to students in a religious studies lesson at Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire earlier this week.

Images on social media showed police standing at the school gates as parents protested against the teacher.

The school said on Thursday that the teacher involved had been suspended while an investigation takes place.

Gary Kibble, the head of Batley Grammar School, apologised to parents for the “completely inappropriate” use of the cartoons.

“Upon investigation, it was clear that the resource used in the lesson was completely inappropriate and had the capacity to cause great offence to members of our school community for which we would like to offer a sincere and full apology,” he said in an email to parents.

He said the school removed the cartoons from the religious studies coursework.

“The school is investigating the matter using formal processes and we are grateful for the support of the local authority,” he said.

Kirklees Council welcomed the school’s apology to parents.

“We are pleased to see that the school has taken swift action to resolve the issues alongside the local community,” Cr Carole Pattison said.

“They have apologised, taken immediate action on teaching materials and they are reviewing the relevant processes.”

It is understood police officers read out Mr Kibble’s apology to protesters gathered outside the school.

The Huddersfield Examiner, the local newspaper, reported that Thursday's protests were peaceful.

French teacher Samuel Paty was killed by an extremist last October in the Paris suburbs after showing his students the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed as part of a lesson on free speech.