Furious parents protest over Prophet Muhammad cartoon shown in class

Police called as furious Muslim parents protest at gates of Yorkshire grammar school after teacher showed pupils Prophet Muhammad cartoons in class – as head issues ‘sincere apology’ at ‘great offence to community’

  • Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire delayed opening and told pupils to stay at home amid chaotic scene
  • Headteacher Gary Kibble has since apologised for the ‘inappropriate’ resource and promised to investigate
  • Parents began gathering at 7.30am and could be heard chanting with up to 30 pupils also milling around 
  • Co-education Batley Grammar School was founded in 1612 by a Christian, the Reverend William Lee

Police descended on a school today as dozens of furious Muslim parents protested outside after a teacher allegedly showed derogatory caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad during a religious education lesson.

Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire had to delay its opening and told pupils to stay at home amid chaotic scenes at its gates this morning. Headteacher Gary Kibble has since apologised for the ‘inappropriate’ resource.

Parents began gathering at 7.30am outside the co-educational free school and could be heard chanting – with about 20 to 30 pupils also milling around outside the school gates, one of whom gave a speech. 

Police descended on Batley Grammar School in West Yorkshire as dozens of furious Muslim parents protested outside after a teacher allegedly showed derogatory caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad during a religious education lesson

As of 10.30am, the Huddersfield Examiner reported that a crowd remained outside the school – which was founded in 1612 by a Christian, the Reverend William Lee – and the road outside was still closed in both directions.

Mr Kibble said in a letter to parents: ‘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.’

He added that the school had taken ‘immediate action’ to investigate what had happened, including the removal of the resource from materials and the suspension of that lesson content from the scheme of work. 

Batley Grammar School headteacher Gary Kibble has since apologised for the ‘inappropriate’ resource amid an investigation

Batley Grammar School (file image) is a co-educational school founded in 1612 by a Christian, the Reverend William Lee

Mr Kibble continued: ‘As an additional precaution, we will undertake a formal review of the RS curriculum to ensure no other resource or statement is inappropriate and take appropriate action as needed.’

He also told how the school was now investigating the matter ‘using formal processes and we are grateful for the support of the local authority’.

With parents gathering outside the school, it sent them all a text message to say: ‘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.’

The protesters were demanding the resignation of the teacher, with organisers asking anyone attending to do so in their vehicle if possible. Officers were guarding all school entrances but the protest appeared to be peaceful. 

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