On social media, an elementary school teacher expressed his opinion on Islam, and the Department for Education was notified. Now, he’s been banned for life from teaching for having an “unacceptable” view of Islam and making “Islamophobic” comments.
Philip Turner, 53, has not only been fired from his teaching position at an elementary school in the UK but also banned for life from working in schools after the Department for Education determined that his personal and political views were “unacceptable.”
Turner was terminated by Mary Elton Primary School in Clevedon after concerns were raised by upset parents about certain comments made by the teacher on social media regarding Islam and foreigners. Turner came under investigation over accusations of racism, bigotry, and Islamophobia, eventually leading to his firing.
According to The Telegraph, Turner had posted on social media that “Islam is the cancer of the world” and that those living in a free society need to “cut it out.” He also posted that Islam is a “vile” ideology along with sharing an article reporting on a sex ring. He commented, “More child rapists — wonder what they have in common?” referring to the suspects’ immigrant and assumed Muslim status.
They included references to British girls being “raped by men who have no right to be in this country…” Another one referred to Islam as a “vile vile vile religion” and a third to Islam being “the cancer of the world.”
Turner was placed under investigation by the school and referred to the Department for Education, which ruled that the teacher had shown an “unacceptable lack of tolerance” toward Islam and migrants. The department eventually decided that he should be removed from his position due to “sustained offensive posts promoting racial and religious hatred,” the Independent reports.
Aside from Turner’s recorded posts, some had accused him of making racially and politically charged statements in the classroom. Anonymous sources reported to the department that the educator told his fourth and fifth-grade students that if ethnic minorities are unhappy with the nation’s policies, they should “leave the country.”
Another accusation claimed that Turner told children that “all Mexicans were criminals or bad,” a Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) panel confirmed. The accusations paired with his personal social media posts were enough to earn him a lifetime ban from teaching in the UK.
The panel took the view that, on the balance of probabilities, Turner “was responsible for posting all the material and/or failing to remove material which demonstrated a lack of tolerance and/or respect for persons of other faiths or nationalities.”
Turner appealed the decision but was ultimately turned down. The TRA concluded that the teacher wasn’t sorry for his actions and still held the same beliefs, which they found to be intolerable for a public educator.
Panel chairman John Armstrong said, “Turner failed to show any insight whatsoever into his actions or the impact that his views could have on pupils. He showed no remorse throughout the process.”
Furthermore, the panel ruled that Turner presented a “risk of such extreme views being presented to impressionable pupils,” adding that he left evidence of “unacceptable views” which “had been presented to pupils in the classroom setting,” although no such evidence was released to the public.
According to the ruling, Turner is banned indefinitely from teaching at any school, university, youth organization, or children’s home in the country. Still, he maintains his innocence and has contested the department’s decision.
Turner has chalked up his punishment to being targeted for his right-wing views. Whatever the case, the fact is that his personal views, however extreme they may be considered, and not his actions were responsible for his firing and life-long ban from ever holding the position of educator again.