Socialist Worker

BNP teacher cleared of intolerance despite calling immigrants 'savage animals'

Issue No. 2203

UAF activists outside the GTC hearing in Birmingham this week  (Pic: Geoff Dexter)

UAF activists outside the GTC hearing in Birmingham this week (Pic: Geoff Dexter)

The General Teaching Council (GTC) has cleared a Nazi teacher, who taught at a school with pupils from immigrant backgrounds, of racial and religious intolerance.

British National Party (BNP) member Adam Walker taught at Houghton Kepier Sports College near Sunderland. He resigned in 2007 when the headteacher asked IT staff to investigate his use of the internet.

Walker had used a school laptop to post comments online describing immigrants as 'savage animals'. He also claimed that parts of Britain were a “dumping ground” for the Third World.

The GTC disciplinary panel said it was “troubled” by Walker's postings but was not satisfied that the “intemperate” views suggested racial intolerance.

Angela Stones, who chaired the panel, said that while some postings contained offensive terms and views that might be considered racist, “The committee does not accept that references to ‘immigrants’ are of themselves suggestive of any particular views on race.

'A negative comment about immigration to the UK of itself need not be indicative of racist views or racial intolerance since the race of immigrants is extremely varied.”

Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism (UAF), said, “For a teacher whose own classes contains pupils from immigrant families to make these kinds of racist comments is disgusting.

“This man is clearly not capable of treating pupils from different backgrounds and races equally. He is not fit to teach – nor is any member of the BNP.”

UAF organised a protest outside the hearing in Birmingham – attended by members of the NUT, NASUWT and PCS trade unions and Birmingham Trades Council.

More than 150 people confronted Walker and BNP leader Nick Griffin as they went into the hearing.

Geoff Dexter, who helped organise the protest, told Socialist Worker, “The demonstration represented all parts of Birmingham’s diverse community. We oppose racists and fascists working in public services.”

“We made our feelings known – the handful of BNP members assembled to defend Walker had to be escorted by the police and at no stage were they able to hold interviews without the UAF chants drowning them out.”

Christine Blower, general secretary of the NUT, issued a statement saying, “We do not believe that a teacher with BNP membership could remain in the classroom without being racist in some way, shape or form.”

Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT said, “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.”

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Thu 27 May 2010, 14:46 BST
Issue No. 2203
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