A TEACHER caught posting racist comments during a lesson has lost his battle to avoid being brought before his profession’s disciplinary body.
Adam Walker, from Spennymoor, County Durham, could become the first teacher in the country to be struck off for religious intolerance.
Mr Walker, who used to teach at Houghton Kepier Sports College in Houghton-le-Spring, near Sunderland, admits posting anti-Muslim comments on a website while using a school computer.
He is also alleged to have posted critical comments against asylum seekers, immigrants and the “promotion” of homosexuality on the BNP’s website during lesson time.
He left the school in 2007, but claimed the comments – made under a false name – had no link to his work as a design and technology teacher.
His legal team argued in front of the General Teaching Council (GTC) that he should not face professional misconduct charges.
They claimed website administrators were wrong to reveal his identity and his posts should not be used in evidence. They also argued the school’s leaders were wrong to report him to the GTC.
Patrick Harrington, who is representing Mr Walker, said: “I understand people are opposed to the BNP, but they must realise this has implications for all teachers who wish to express views, whether they are communists, anarchists or Muslims.
“The GTC has still not given a good enough reason as to why they want to overrule rights to freedom of expression for teachers with political and religious views.
“There is no link between Mr Walker’s views and his professional role.”
The case has already been delayed for more than a year by Mr Walker’s representations.
It has also been postponed once due to police fears over racial tensions, as protesters gathered outside the GTC’s head office in Birmingham at an earlier hearing.
Mr Walker, who is now working as a campaigns coordinator for the BNP MEP Andrew Brons, has pledged to take the case to the “highest level” if found guilty.
The GTC panel said teachers at the school were legally obliged to report Mr Walker’s misuse of his computer to the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the GTC.
In a statement, the panel said: “None of the preliminary legal arguments made led the committee to conclude the case should be stayed or the allegation struck out.
“The committee considers it fair to proceed and that all the evidence is admissible.”
The hearing will reconvene on May 24.