The UK is getting worse as far as education goes. Following from a post I found on the Nullifidian Blog, I ended up at the BBC News page for Friday 2 Feb 07, with the title “Teacher sacked over religion row.”
In a nutshell, a supply teacher at a Slough secondary school was “sacked” (after “several days” rather than an eight week contract) for saying “most suicide bombers were Muslim.” For context the supply teacher was teaching Religious Education so the debate about religion is probably appropriate.
Now it appears (the only source is the BBC website) that the teacher (Mr Andrew McLuskey) was sacked after the pupils complained at his comments. To put this in perspective, the school is predominantly Muslim, so it could be agreed that his comments were “ill advised.” Mr McLuskey was obviously upset that he never had the chance to defend himself and the BBC reports the school comments as follows:
The school authorities denied they were being heavy-handed and said their first priority was pupils’ welfare. “I don’t think it’s important what I think,” said the school’s deputy head teacher Ray Hinds. “It’s what the pupils think that were in the classroom at the time. And they were very upset.”
This is mind boggling. A quick Google search has reported that at least 99.9% of suicide bombers are Islamic, or supporting an Islamic cause (you can rarely ask the bomber about his religion after the event). It seems to me, that what Mr McLuskey said is factually correct.
It is certainly not the same as saying “Most Muslims are Suicide Bombers” which would have, quite rightly, caused outage and is blatantly false. The comments made by the deputy head are telling and it is a worrying story they tell.
I am sure the School (who oddly are unfindable on the internet), feel they have done the right thing but in reality all it has done is play into the hands of the right wingers who will cry “political correctness” and probably lead invariably towards backlash.
In the sad world where teachers can be sacked for saying something which, while correct, upsets the pupils (and I suspect the deputy head), it is no surprise that creationism and other forms of religious fundamentalism is sneaking into our society.