A TEACHER has been suspended after using a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad during a religious studies lesson at a West Yorkshire school.

The image was used during a lesson at Batley Grammar School, and triggered more than 100 people, including some students, to protest outside the school this morning.

Both the school and teacher have apologised “unequivocally” for the incident, and the school said this portion of its religious studies curriculum has been stopped.

The road around the school had to be cordoned off by police due to the protest, and officers were also on the scene by the school gates.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The protest at Batley Grammar SchoolThe protest at Batley Grammar School

Many Muslims find cartoons of the prophet Muhammad extremely offensive and an attack on their identity.

Batley Grammar apologised for the incident yesterday and added to that in a statement released today.

Founded more than 400 years ago, the former boys grammar school is now a co-education (both sexes) free school and roughly three-quarters of the student population are from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Local Imam Mohammed Amin Pandor met with headteacher Gary Kibble this morning, and after the meeting addressed the gathered crowd.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Protesters at the school gates of Batley Grammar, where a cartoon of Muhammad was used in a religious studies lessonProtesters at the school gates of Batley Grammar, where a cartoon of Muhammad was used in a religious studies lesson

He said: "What happened here, we are disgusted.

"What has happened is totally unacceptable and we have made sure they are aware.

"We are going to work with the school to make sure things like this don't happen."

Other protesters at the scene called the incident "offensive" and "Islamophobic" and said the use of the image had caused upset and was “disrespectful”.

They also questioned why the use of the image had been included in the curriculum.

Gary Kibble, headteacher at Batley Grammar, said: “The school unequivocally apologises for using a totally inappropriate resource in a recent religious studies lesson.

“The member of staff has also given their 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“We have immediately withdrawn teaching on this part of the course and we are reviewing how we go forward with the support of all the communities represented in our school.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 faiths 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 this situation.”