MEND STATEMENT – Investigation finds offensive graphic, depicting the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) as a terrorist, should not have been used in a Batley School
Categories: Latest News
Friday May 28 2021
The investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Charlie Hebdo cartoon being used in a year 9 religious studies class at Batley Grammar School has concluded that the materials should not have been used and that the sensitivities of the children should have been taken into account.
At the same time, MEND is concerned that while the report states that the teaching staff involved did not intend to cause offence, there is still a question as to how they could not have known that such offence would be caused, regardless of their intention. This suggests that there is a need for better training for teachers with regards to religious literacy and respecting the religious sensibilities of students.
There are also concern at reports that the independent community panel member for the investigation was not fully involved in the process by the investigatory team.
However, it is heartening that this report sets a precedent such that schools currently using these materials now or in the future cannot claim ignorance regarding the level of distress they may cause. It is also welcome news that the Trust in question is in the process of establishing formal mechanisms to quality assure teaching aids and planning. Other schools should now follow suit and examine their own policies surrounding lesson planning in order to ensure that the need for respect and sensitivity for students of all backgrounds is cemented within these processes, and that such an incident cannot happen again.
Read the statement from Batley Multi-Academy Trust here.