Former Sandy and Stevenage teacher banned after racist rant
PUBLISHED: 13:13 06 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:53 10 September 2018
A former Sandy maths teacher and Stevenage deputy head has been banned from teaching after posting a racist rant on social media.
Harpreet Singh was found by the Teaching Regulation Agency to have “fallen short of the standards expected of the teaching profession” and the report has now been published.
Mr Singh – from Hitchin – was suspended from his job as head of maths at Sandye Place Academy in June 2017, one day after colleagues raised concerns regarding his social media posts, which were of an anti-Semitic nature.
The former deputy head at Stevenage’s Marriotts School – where he worked until December 2012 – admitted writing and posting the comments, which included: “Every sane human is anti-Semitic. Because you b******* have made Zionism synonymous with the mistreatment of Palestinians.
“Billions are anti-Semitic and proud of it. Israel should be wiped of [sic] the planet. Dogs! The chosen race?!?!?!! What an insult to God!”
However, Mr Singh denied the allegation that he “demonstrated a lack of tolerance and respect for the rights and/or beliefs of others,” stating that he does not have any dislike for the Jewish faith or people.
When giving his evidence, he added that he was provoked and his comments were taken out of context.
It was also found that he had facilitated inappropriate use of his school laptop, which was used to view sexual material.
He denied this allegation, stating that “he did not inappropriately use his laptop to access sexual material and also that he did not facilitate the inappropriate use of his laptop to access”.
Mr Singh did admit giving out his password to someone who was using his laptop, but did not consider this as inappropriate, and believed the person was using it for what he described as “genuine reasons”.
Mr Singh admitted that sexual material was viewed on his school laptop, but insisted it was not by him. The panel found it to be proven that Mr Singh had inappropriately facilitated use of the school laptop – which led to sexual material being viewed – but found it not to be proven that Mr Singh had used the laptop for this purpose himself.
It was proven that Mr Singh – who runs The Angels’ Share bar and restaurant in Hitchin – had used his computer while teaching to browse for alcohol and look at cars and properties.
The panel, in the TRA report, said: “Mr Singh was responsible for posting comments on social media which were offensive and racist.”
It also highlighted its “concern that Mr Singh could find himself in a similar difficult situation in the future, and it is not currently convinced that he would have the capacity to act appropriately.”
Decision-maker Alan Meyrick ruled that Mr Singh is prohibited from teaching indefinitely. He can apply to have this overruled after three years.