EXCLUSIVE: Teacher suspended after showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad to pupils during an RE lesson at West Yorkshire school refuses to return to work over fears for his life
- The teacher at the centre of the row has refused to return to teaching at Batley Grammar School amid fears for his life, MailOnline can exclusively reveal
- Report concluded he is to be allowed to return to his job despite the uproar
- But he remains in hiding with his family following furious protests in March
- Two other RE teachers have also refused to return citing similar reasons
A teacher who was suspended after showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad to pupils during an RE lesson has refused to return to work over fears for his life – despite being cleared of causing deliberate offence and told that he could have his job back.
He continues to remain in hiding with his family and has permanently left the housing association property they shared near Batley.
The family have been rehoused at a secret location with not even close relatives being informed about where it is.
The Batley Grammar School teacher sparked fury by allegedly showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a RE lesson. Pictured: Protesters outside the school in March
Two other members of staff who were also suspended by officials at Batley Grammar School, West Yorkshire have refused to return to the classroom after being reinstated, citing similar concerns that they could be attacked.
It has resulted in the entire RE department, which was made up of the three teachers, being replaced by supply staff.
The teacher who kick-started the row and his two colleagues remain on full pay although it is not known how long this will continue for as their suspensions have been lifted.
They are being supported by the National Education Union (NEU), which is liaising with school officials in an attempt to resolve the stalemate.
A source close to the teacher, who was head of RE at Batley Grammar School, told MailOnline that he had not ruled out the possibility of legal action if he is unable to reach a settlement with the school so that he can move on with his career and personal life.
‘On paper, he’s got his job back but returning to the school is not a possibility,’ the source said. ‘An inquiry might have cleared him, but it doesn’t mean a thing because he doesn’t feel safe teaching there and genuinely fears that he could be killed.
The teacher, who is not being named, was head of Batley Grammar School’s RE department but remains in hiding with his family following furious protests in March. Pictured: Protests outside Batley in March
‘His two colleagues feel exactly the same. The matter needs to be resolved so that they can have a decent future but if we don’t get to that point soon, legal action is not out of the question.’
The teacher’s former home is currently undergoing repair work for new tenants.
A neighbour told MailOnline: ‘A few weeks ago a removal van came and took all their stuff. I saw the teacher’s sister and she told me that the family won’t be coming back.
‘The last contact I had with him was last month when he sent us Eid cards and presents through his sister.
‘But I’ve not been able to speak with him or his partner because they’ve had to change their mobile phone numbers and they’re not allowed to contact us.’
Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire
The teacher was suspended in March for showing pupils a drawing taken from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo during a religious studies classes at Batley grammar school, provoking complaints from parents and protests outside the school’s gates.
A report published last month by the Batley Academy Trust, which runs the school, found that although it was not necessary for the teacher to use the material in question, they ‘genuinely believed’ using the image had educational purposes and did not mean to cause offence.
But it added: ‘Nevertheless, the Trust recognises that using the image did cause deep offence to a number of students, parents and members of our school community.’
It ruled that the teacher’s suspension and the suspension of his two colleague should be lifted and they should be allowed to return to the classroom.
The Trust refused to comment on the reasons why they have not yet resumed their teaching duties.
On March 24, the teacher was suspended and the school accompanied its unreserved apology with the announcement of an independent panel to investigate. Pictured: Protestors outside the school
In a statement, it said: ‘The findings are clear, that the teaching staff involved did not use the resource with the intention of causing offence, and that the topics covered by the lesson could have been effectively addressed in other ways.
‘In the light of those conclusions, the suspensions put in place while the investigation was underway will now be lifted.’
A spokesperson for the NEU said: ‘Personal employment details of individual members are not something for the NEU to discuss publicly, and we believe that our members want, need and deserve privacy.
‘We are continuing to support all our members at the school, and we have worked to ensure fairness and the best outcomes in the workplace for all going forward.’
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