Father of Teacher Suspended over Mohammed Images Says School ‘Threw Him Under Bus’

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The father of a teacher suspended from Batley Grammar School for showing images of Islam’s prophet Mohammed during a lesson on blasphemy says the school “threw him under a bus”.

“The school has thrown my son under a bus. The lesson that he delivered in which the picture of the Prophet Muhammad was shown was part of the curriculum, it had been approved by the school. Other teachers have done exactly the same thing,” the father said in comments to MailOnline — although this claim is not confirmed.

The teacher’s father revealed that his son “is worried that he and his family are all going to be killed” and “says that it’s all over for him.”

“He knows that he’s not going to be able to return to work or live in Batley. It’s just going to be too dangerous for him and his family,” the father explained.
“Look what happened to the teacher in France who was killed for doing the same thing. Eventually they will get my son and he knows this. His whole world has been turned upside down. He’s devastated and crushed,” he said, referring to Samuel Paty — a teacher of history and geography in France who was beheaded in the street by a Muslim refugee after showing images of Mohammed during a lesson on freedom of expression.

While Paty was hailed as a “quiet hero” by the French president — after he had been killed — the Batley teacher was immediately suspended once local Muslims began congregating at the school gates, in defiance of coronavirus restrictions, to protest his actions.

“Even if he gets his job back, how can he possibly return to Batley Grammar School? It will be far too risky. And how will he be able to walk around the town with his kids, doing normal things knowing that he could be killed?” the British teacher’s father continued.

“Sadly, his life here in Batley is over and it’s very daunting for him to think about starting somewhere else afresh,” he said, adding that his own “petrified” wife has fled the family home fearing “that we’ll also be targeted”.

He did not make any case for his son on free speech grounds, however, and even conceded to the protesters that the issue of images of the Islamic prophet “obviously means a lot to them and I can understand that.”

“But the school and my son have issued a full apology, and both have said that they won’t allow the same thing to happen again. That should be the end of the matter and my son should be allowed to get on with his life,” he pleaded.

His stance is perhaps understandable given the extremely high risks involved for the family and the minimal support they have received from the government.

Some ministers have made noises about being “troubled by the suggestion that a teacher conducting a religious studies class should have material censored”, Boris Johnson has failed to issue any strenuous calls for his reinstatement or for meaningful action to be taken against the illegal protests.

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
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