Wayne Darnell: Batley Grammar?

Wayne Darnell: Batley Grammar?

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SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, WILL ALWAYS TAKE OFFENCE

Last week, local residents and parents were urged to gather outside Bately Grammar School in Yorkshire.

Headmaster Gary Kibble threw one of his teachers under a bus by issuing a “sincere and full apology” to those offended by a cartoon of Muhammad allegedly shown in a Religious Studies lesson, which Kibble labelled as “completely inappropriate.”

The Department of Education came under fire for “amplifying divisions” after it branded the protests as “completely unacceptable,” and said they included “threats” and “intimidation.” Yet our impartial police have been seen to be allowing this protest to happen under lockdown restrictions.

The school teacher at the centre of the controversy has been suspended by the school board for his “completely inappropriate” lesson and both the teacher and his young family are understood to be receiving police protection after his name was circulated online and the school was besieged with angry protesters. If the teacher had been living in Scotland, he could well find himself in prison thanks to our new Hate Crime Bill.

Last year, you may remember the incident in France where another teacher, Samuel Paty, was beheaded near Paris for a similar offence. In response, the Government in this country and the teachers’ unions were noticeable by their subdued response when it came to this murder.

Appeasement never works: the Government and the teachers’ unions need to be behind this teacher and offering their full support.

We live in a secular country and we must not allow our values and laws to be attacked in this way. Free speech is paramount and the time has come when we must ask the question: what does this country stand for?