On 6th February this year, IT teacher Mahmudul Choudhury was convicted of racially aggravated harassment alarm or distress for using his Facebook page to praise Hitler for murdering Jews.
Former students including Jewish students were among his Facebook friends and reported him to the Police. The image of Hitler (see below) was posted on 11th July 2014 and bore the caption “I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was killing them… YES MAN, YOU WERE RIGHT… Share this picture to the the truth a whole world.” Choudhury added an additional caption saying: “Yes now we could see why.” Choudhury was convicted and fined by South East London Magistrates’ Court.
Following Choudhury’s conviction, Campaign Against Antisemitism, was astonished that Choudhury remained free to return to the classroom and teach children. We therefore initiated formal proceedings with the Department for Education’s National College for Teaching and Leadership, and applied to the Secretary of State for Education for a Prohibition Order.
A professional conduct hearing was convened on 5th October at our behest, which Choudhury failed to attend. Following the hearing, the Secretary of State has now issued a Prohibition Order banning Choudhury from teaching, for life, with immediate effect.
The professional conduct hearing found that “prohibition is both proportionate and appropriate,” noting that “Mr Choudhury not only re-posted an image supporting the holocaust; he added a comment in support of that message. This was a significant factor in the panel forming the opinion that prohibition is proportionate and appropriate. Accordingly, the panel makes a recommendation to the Secretary of State that a prohibition order should be imposed with immediate effect.” The panel also said it had “seen little evidence that Mr Choudhury has any insight into or remorse for his actions.”
On behalf of the Secretary of State for Education, Paul Heathcote of the National College of Teaching and Leadership wrote: ”Mr Mahmudul Choudhury is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England. Furthermore, in view of the seriousness of the allegation found proved against him, I have decided that Mr Mahmudul Choudhury shall not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.”
Teachers have a special responsibility in society to educate and nurture our children. Mahmudul Choudhury specifically shared a post on Facebook which tried to justify the mass murder of over six million Jewish people by the Nazis. He did this knowing that others would see it, including former students. Someone with these views should never be allowed to teach Britain’s children, or be in any position where they could potentially shape and influence young minds. At a time when Jews are being specifically targeted and murdered by extremist killers in Europe and beyond, this is even more distressing. In all of our discussions with the government we have called for zero tolerance of antisemitism under the law. We therefore commend the Secretary of State for Education for this decision.