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Batley Grammar: Parents pull pupils out of Prophet row school
From The Times. And it's not the offended Muslim parents; these are parents who support the teacher and don't want their children intimidated.
Parents are looking to pull their children out of Batley Grammar School, where the showing of a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad provoked uproar six weeks ago, because they fear that tensions will erupt again once an investigation by the school concludes.
The teacher who showed the cartoon to a class was forced to flee his home with his partner and four children . . . The family have still not returned home and have not been in contact with friends, who fear that they will be unable to live in Batley.
The parent of one pupil said that she removed her son from the school permanently on the week of the protests. It had followed previous grievances including matters involving bullying, she claimed, and the school’s handling of the incident had been “the final straw”
The mother, who did not want to be named, felt that the teacher had been blamed unfairly. “He wasn’t the only teacher to teach that lesson,” she said. “He’s a very good, well-known teacher but the head just left him out to rot.”
She said that other parents “all expect it to kick off again once the results of this investigation happen” and feared they would need to keep their children off school.
A third parent, whose child was in the lesson at the focus of the row, predicted that trouble “would kick off again” after the investigation concluded and that many parents would continue to support the teacher if anything in the outcome condemned him. “But what can we do?” he asked. “There could be some upset comments but if we turn around and say, ‘No, we’re not having this’, that would be deemed racist.”
Since the incident much of the spotlight in the town has moved on to the by-election due after Tracy Brabin, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, was elected mayor of West Yorkshire. She initially said that the offence caused was “understandable’’ but later appeared to modify her stance, saying that no teacher should be intimidated.
Kim Leadbeater, sister of the murdered MP Jo Cox, wants to run for the seat. A Labour figure told The Guardian that Leadbeater would “cut through” any attempt by rival parties to inflame the school row.