Teacher is banned after racist comments in class
PUBLISHED: 09:27 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:28 23 March 2020
A Clevedon teacher who made racist comments in a primary school class and on social media has been banned from the profession.
Philip Turner’s posts on social media called Asian men ‘child rapists’ and described Islam as a ‘vile religion’.
The 52-year-old shared similar views in class, and a Teaching Regulation Agency report found evidence they led to one or more pupils saying ‘all Mexicans are criminals’.
A report by the agency into his professional conduct said Mr Turner expressed ‘inappropriate views’ in front of pupils, which led one or more to suggest that if someone from an ethnic minority is unhappy with a country’s policies they should ‘leave the country’.
He was sacked in January 2019 after nine years of working at Mary Elton Primary School.
The panel saw numerous posts Mr Turner had shared publicly on Facebook, including pictures of Asian men alongside Islamophobic and racist comments.
It concluded Mr Turner was responsible for all the material, or for failing to remove it.
At the school, a witness who sat in on one of Mr Turner’s lessons said he “seemed to be waiting for the answer that the person could ‘leave the country’”.
There was no direct witness to the pupil’s comment about Mexicans but the panel said the evidence was persuasive.
Recommending Mr Turner should be banned from teaching, the panel said: “There was a strong public interest consideration in respect of the protection of pupils, given the serious findings of statements demonstrating a lack of respect and/or tolerance made on Facebook and similarly inappropriate comments made towards year five and six pupils.
“Public confidence in the profession could be seriously weakened if conduct such as that found against Mr Turner were not treated with the utmost seriousness.”
Mr Turner was banned from teaching in England.
A spokesperson for Mary Elton Primary School said: “The school takes all allegations regarding staff behaviour seriously and the local governing body of Mary Elton Primary School and the Clevedon Learning Trust have followed a full and thorough process of due diligence in this matter.”
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