'I was a victim' insists Rainham teacher who claims he was unfairly dismissed after attending free speech rally
PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 May 2018
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A trainee teacher who was suspended from a Rainham school after attending a freedom of speech rally is considering taking legal action as he thinks he was unfairly dismissed.
Mohammed Hegab was a trainee teacher at Harris Academy in Lambs Lane and was seen on social media saying he would “fight” and “die” at a rally in Whitehall.
He said that this was “in the heat of the moment” and in response to threats from members of the Democratic Football Lads Alliance.
Following the rally the history teacher returned to the school and said on arrival was told he was suspended following an investigation.
The suspension letter from the school addressed to Mr Hegab states that his reason for suspension was his attendance at the freedom of speech rally and that he was suspended on full pay following an investigation.
A few days later parents from the school then received a letter from headteacher Gareth Stananought that said Mr Hegab would not be returning to the school, and that his placement had been terminated.
The school said that his placement was terminated after he was suspended - but the two are unrelated.
In the letter Mr Stananought said: “The termination of his placement is not connected with the allegations made on social media and instead relates to a performance related process that predates this.”
It also states that the school is liaising with other authorities regarding the allegations made on social media and the individual’s activities outside school.
The suspension letter from the school to Mohammed that the Recorder has seen, states that his original suspension was “no way a form of disciplinary action against you” and that the suspension did not imply guilt.
He told the Recorder that he had not heard from anyone from the school with regards to the investigation.
He said: “I don’t believe it is a valid reason to be suspended.
“It is like what Voltaire said ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’
“I didn’t commit a crime, police spoke to me and treated me as a victim.”