A head of maths has been banned from teaching after making racist comments about Jews and using his school laptop to browse alcohol and property sites during lessons.
Harpreet Singh, 48, who was head of maths at Sandye Place Academy, Bedfordshire, was dismissed by the school after staff raised concerns over racist posts on Facebook.
During a review of the teacher’s case, the three-person panel could not prove that he had viewed sexual material on his password-protected, school-issue laptop, although records showed someone had. It also could not be clear that Mr Singh had looked at a discussion forum for the computer game Grand Theft Auto during lessons.
These charges were part of his original dismissal from Sandye Place Academy, where he worked for 10 months until July 2017.
However, Mr Singh admitted that he posted a number of Facebook public forum comments relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In one post he wrote: “Every sane human is anti-semitic. Because you bastards have made Zionism synonymous with the mistreatment of Palestinians. Billions are anti-semitic and proud of it.”
In another, he posted: “Of course we hate Jews. Israel is the most evil regime on the planet. Supported by Jews from within, and from around the world.”
The teacher accepted that his comments were “serious, offensive [and] racist”, but added that he had been provoked by others during a forum discussion.
The maths head also admitted to using his laptop to repeatedly search the web for alcohol, cars and property – although he told the panel that he continued “to supervise the children” during lessons.
However, the panel accepted that the sexual material viewed on his laptop outside school hours may have been viewed by a boy, referred to as Witness A, to whom he gave the details of his computer password.
The panel also said it was likely that the Grand Theft Auto search may have been made by an unknown school pupil when Mr Singh left the class, because this entry occurred only once and the teacher denied ever playing the game.
But overall, the panel “was satisfied that the conduct of the teacher had fallen short of the standards expected of the profession”.
It recommended that Mr Singh be given a prohibition order from teaching, with a review after three years.
This was accepted by Alan Meyrick on behalf of the education secretary. He said: “In this case, there are two factors that in my view mean that a two-year review period is not sufficient to achieve the aim of maintaining public confidence in the profession. These elements are the offensive and racist nature of the comments made and the lack of either full insight or complete remorse.”
Mr Singh has the right to appeal the decision at the High Court within 28 days. He will be able to apply to become a teacher again in August 2021.