Teacher Banned from Schools After Making Islamophobic And Racist Comments24 Mar 2020
The 53-year-old was reported to have displayed discriminatory language in the classroom and on social media. In one instance, he referred to Islam as the ‘cancer of the world.’
A disciplinary tribunal found that Phillip Turner, a teacher at Mary Elton Primary School in Somerset, was making racist comments towards minority groups in his lessons and online. He was therefore sacked from his position last month, after almost 10 years in the profession.
A Teaching Regulation Agency report found a series of evidence that uncovered a history of inappropriate remarks by the teacher on social media. These include calling Asian men “child rapists” and describing Islam as a “vile religion.”
These anti-Islamic comments on social media were also echoed in his classroom, as it was also reported that Turner told the children in his class that if an ethnic minority are unhappy with domestic policies then they should “leave the country.”
The panel at the tribunal also witnessed evidence of Turner posting pictures publicly on Facebook of Asian men next to Islamophobic and racist comments. One of these comments wrote: “More child rapists – wonder what they have in common?”
The Department of Education has banned Turner from the profession indefinitely and stated that he had showed an “unacceptable lack of tolerance”, because of “sustained offensive posts promoting racial and religious hatred.”
The TRA panel was also told that Turner had said in a class that “all Mexicans were criminals or bad.” He is now not allowed to teach in any school, sixth form college, youth accommodation or children’s home in England.
The panel saw numerous other posts made by Turner on social media dating back to 2017 and therefore decided the school’s allegations were “proved” and judged Mr. Turner’s behaviour “amounted to misconduct of a serious nature.”
Panel chairman John Armstrong said: “Turner failed to show any insight whatsoever into his actions or the impact that his views have on pupils. He showed no remorse throughout the process.”
A spokesperson for Mary Elton Primary School said: “The school takes all allegations regarding staff behaviour seriously and the local governing body of Mary Elton Primary School and Clevedon Learning Trust have followed a full and thorough process of due diligence in this matter.”
It has been widely reported that hate crimes and Islamophobia in the UK have increased in the past decade and it seems when looking at schools, young people are merely reflecting a prevailing culture that is filled with toxic rhetoric towards minority groups and migrants. This can be correlated with record numbers of children being excluded from schools for racist abuse in recent years.
The issue of racism can be addressed at the very top; starting with government policy towards immigration and integration in local communities, as well as providing guidance for schools on racism-based bullying. The issue can also be addressed at the grassroots level, with the encouragement of Muslim students sharing their experiences of Islamophobia, in addition to improvements in teacher training. Steps such as these will help to shift society in the right direction, towards peaceful coexistence between different cultures and communities.