BNP teacher cleared of racial intolerance

A teacher and member of the British National Party who described some immigrants as "savage animals" in a website posting from a school laptop was cleared of racial and religious intolerance yesterday.

Adam Walker made history by becoming the first teacher to appear before a General Teaching Council disciplinary hearing charged with the offence. However, the three-member panel hearing his case said that while it was "troubled" by some of his postings it was not satisfied that his "intemperate" views were suggestive of intolerance.

The decision was criticised by teachers' leaders. Chris Keates, the general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, called the judgment "absolutely staggering".

"The GTC's code of conduct requires teachers to 'demonstrate respect for diversity and promote equality', but the decision today makes a mockery of the code," she added. "With this decision, the GTC has effectively given a licence to promote religious and racial hatred in schools."

However, Nick Griffin, the leader of the BNP, addressing a rally outside the hearing in Birmingham, said Mr Walker had been "outrageously persecuted for his political beliefs".

Mr Walker, who taught technology at Houghton Kepier Sports College in Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, used a school laptop to make postings to a website addressing the popularity of the BNP.

Using the pseudonym Corporal Fox, he said Britain had become "a dumping ground for the filth of the Third World".

Mr Walker resigned from his job when his headteacher said he would be investigating his use of the laptop and accepted he was wrong to do the postings in school time.

However, he stressed that he had not communicated his political thoughts and beliefs to staff or pupils at the school.

The panel found part of the allegation against Mr Walker – that he made personal use of a school laptop during lessons – to constitute unprofessional conduct and it is now considering what sanction he should face.

Its chairwoman, Angela Stones, said some of Mr Walker's postings contained offensive terms and demonstrated views or an attitude that might be considered racist.

However, she added: "The committee does not accept that references to 'immigrants' are of themselves suggestive of any particular views on race.

"For the GTC to prove its case in relation to [the allegation of racial and religious intolerance] the committee has to be satisfied that contributions made by Walker demonstrated views suggestive of racial intolerance.

"The committee's view is that, to be suggestive of intolerance, the postings would have to deny or refuse to others the right to dissent. We do not find that the postings themselves were suggestive of intolerance."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This market leader in the devel...

AER Teachers: Graduate Primary TA - West London - Autumn

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

AER Teachers: Graduate Secondary TA - West London

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

AER Teachers: Early Years Teaching Assistant Newham

Negotiable: AER Teachers: Outstanding East London primary school seeking an Ea...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935