Angry crowds descended on Batley Grammar School, near Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, amid allegations the image was shown during a religious studies lesson. Protesters claimed the cartoon shown to pupils was the same one previously published by French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which sparked a number of terrorist attacks in France. The image was said to mock the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
Batley Grammar headmaster Gary Kibble said: “The school unequivocally apologises for using a totally inappropriate resource in a recent religious studies lesson.
“The member of staff has also given most sincere apologies.
“We have immediately withdrawn teaching on this part of the course and we are reviewing how we go forward with the support of all the communities represented in our school.
“It is important for children to learn about faith and beliefs, but this must be done in a sensitive way.
“The member of staff has been suspended pending an independent formal investigation.
“The school is working closely with the governing board and community leaders to help resolve the situation.”
The teacher was reportedly named online yesterday by Islamic charity Purpose Of Life, prompting fears for his safety.
The Dewsbury-based charity released a statement labelling the school’s apology as “not enough” and demanding that the teacher be sacked.
The post, which also appeared on social media, compared the teacher to a terrorist before repeatedly naming him, it was said.
Yesterday, the crowd outside the school became increasingly angry and chanted “get the head” as the charity, which has close ties with the school, demanded all Muslims should “voice their concerns” over the matter.
The protest began at 8am with dozens of students gathering alongside adults as police arrived to monitor the scene. Some of the crowd described the class incident as “offensive” and “Islamophobia”.
Many called for the teacher in question to be sacked and banned from ever teaching again.
But Imam Mohammed Amin Pandor told protesters: “What has happened is totally unacceptable and we have made sure they are aware.
“The teacher has been suspended. They can’t just sack him, they need to do their due process.
“We are going to work with the school to make sure things like this don’t happen.
“In my opinion this teacher’s teaching days are over.”
One parent in her 40s, who did not want to be named, said: “All we are asking for is respect.
“My child has been upset about what happened and so have I.”