Birmingham school teacher suspended over ‘racist’ Facebook posts
Categories: Latest News
Friday October 10 2014
The Mirror reports today that Mr Jonathan Parker, a school teacher at Washwood Heath Academy in Birmingham has been suspended from the school over allegations that he posted ‘racist’ messages about Muslims on social networking site, Facebook.
An investigation has been launched and Mr Parker was sent home after claims that he wrote online messages such as “Muslims cause paedophilia’ as well as “Sainsbury have run out of pork chops. I blame the Muslims. Vote UKIP” and “Bloody tax dodging immigrants. If they paid their own way we’d have more money for health, education, public services and pensions. Right I’m off for a STARBUCKS. Vote UKIP.”
Washwood Heath was one of the 21 schools at the heart of the recent Trojan Horse scandal and it seems that the battle against extremism in educational establishments has extended beyond perceived ‘Islamist’ threats. Originally, a number of schools in Birmingham were investigated over fears of an ‘Islamist’ plot to take over Birmingham schools, converting their ethos to that of strict Islamic environments. Mr Parker has subsequently been suspended and parents have been reassured that the school is taking the matter very seriously in a letter published on their website earlier today.
The Birmingham Mail reported that the posts were made on Mr Parker’s private profile page and were supposed to be satirical and were not intended to be racist. However, the school took action after concerned students at the school brought it to their attention. Washwood Heath has 14,000 students, with the majority coming a Muslim background.
According to Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidelines, Mr Parker’s messages on social media could constitute a criminal offence. The CPS guidelines suggest that social media communications which may be considered “grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false” can be considered either under section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 or under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003. Subject to a successful conviction, this type of offence carries a punishment of imprisonment for a maximum of six months, a fine or both.