Yorkshire school issues apology

… after images of Prophet Muhammad spark furious protests.

A YORKSHIRE school has apologised after furious parents gathered outside its gates on Thursday to protest against a teacher who allegedly showed derogatory caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

Batley Grammar School delayed starting school this morning until 10am over what it termed a “disturbance”. A message circulating on social media on Wednesday evening urged to people to gather outside the school and demand the resignation of the teacher allegedly involved. Parents outside the school gates chanted in protest, while one pupil gave a speech to the crowd.

Now the school’s headteacher Gary Kibble has issued an apology.

He said in a statement: “The school would like to thank the parents who contacted us on Monday, March 22 highlighting concerns with a resource used in an RS [religious studies] lesson that day. 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.”

Local police had earlier cordoned off nearby Carlinghow Hill with parents gathering outside the school.

Police officers were called to the scene, YorkshireLive reported.

Despite the start of school being delayed until 10am, Yorkshire Live reported at 10.33am there were 20-30 pupils gathering outside the gates to the school.

The road was still closed in both directions as crowds remain at the scene.

batley grammar school protest

Furious parents have gathered outside Batley Grammar School in Yorkshire (Image: CONNOR TEALE)

Batley protest latest

Batley protest: A message circulating on social media on Wednesday evening urged to people to gather outside the school (Image: CONNOR TEALE)

Imam Mohammed Amin Pandor claimed the teacher in question has been “suspended” by the school after showing the caricatures. The school has yet to confirm this.

He said in a statement: "What has happened at the school, we are appalled. What has happened is totally unacceptable.

"We have made sure the school understands that. The school is going to issue an apology.

"All the resources that were used have been pulled out. The teacher has been suspended.

Batley protest police

Batley Grammar School protest: Police have closed a nearby road (Image: CONNOR TEALE)

"We have asked for an investigation and we have asked that some of us get on to the investigation panel.

“We are going to work with the school to make sure that in the future things like that don’t happen.”

People also took to social media to describe the scene outside the school.

One person wrote on Twitter: "Outrageous scenes outside Batley Grammar School as parents descend on the school gates protesting a teacher producing a ‘derogatory caricature’ of their prophet.

Batley protest update

Batley protest: Headteacher Gary Kibble has apologised for the ‘inappropriate’ resource used in the lesson (Image: CONNOR TEALE)

“Its now a regular occurrence in England.”

Another tweeted: "Extra police resources called to Batley Grammar School as tensions rise at a protest at the school gates.

“Elders have been called in to calm tensions.”

Batley Grammar School Headteacher Gary Kibble has apologised for the “inappropriate” resource used in the lesson.

batley protest pictures

Batley protest: The start of today’s lessons were delayed until 10pm (Image: CONNOR TEALE)

He said in a statement: "The school would like to thank the parents who contacted us on March 22 highlighting concerns with a resource used in an RS lesson that day.

“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.”

In an email to parents, Mr Kibble said the school has taken immediate action to investigate the matter further.

This includes the removal of the resource from materials, the suspension of that lesson from the scheme of work and as an additional precaution, a formal review of the RS curriculum will be undertaken to ensure no other resources or statement is inappropriate.

The email concludes: “The school is investigating the matter using formal processes and we are grateful for the support of the Local Authority.”

The school has sent out a text message to parents to advise them of the delayed start to the day for pupils.

It says: “Due to the disturbance outside of school if your child has not already set off please keep them at home as school will be starting at 10am.”

1 point

Well…that was short lived.

2 Points

They should just Ban ALL religion in schools - make it all illegal. That will fix most problems :slight_smile:

3 Points

I came here to talk about this, and I cannot believe they had to suspend the guy and then it was deemed appropriate to shout “Get the headteacher” - how the hell can that be construed as anything other than a threat? I agree with the National Secular Society on this:

The National Secular Society, which campaigns for freedom of expression on religion, has issued a statement, criticising the protest.

Chief executive Stephen Evans said: “This protest is an attempt to impose an Islamic blasphemy taboo on a school.

“Teachers must have a reasonable degree of freedom to explore sensitive subjects and enable students to think critically about them.

“And the school’s weak response will fuel a climate of censorship, which is brought on by attempts to force society as a whole to accommodate unreasonable and reactionary religious views.”

https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/local-news/live-angry-parent-protest-batley-20250996

2 Points

Stuff like this should be covered by shows like Central Weekend… you remember that one, Jon?

2 Points

It’s was an embarrassing response by the school, how can anyone expect a multicultural society to work if everyone is not treated equally? One rule for all.

Central Weekend was really good, open discussion anything goes as it should be.

2 Points

That’s a toughy, religion does install good base morels into kids. I do think they take it way too far though.

1 point

It would help if all the morals were the same though :wink:

There are probably better ways to instil good base morals, rather than controversial ‘religious’ beliefs. Those should be kept away from schools (where ‘facts’ are supposed to be taught) and in ‘churches/mosques/holy houses/etc’.

I certainly don’t think kids should be taking their cues from make believe characters from a old book - else we end up with Harry Potters or Golums all over the place (see South London for an example of that!!)

2 Points

It would help if all the morals were the same though

LOL yeah this would be a great start.

2 Points

3 Points

2 Points