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A BNP activist who posted comments on the internet describing immigrants as ‘savage animals’ while working as a teacher was cleared of racial and religious intolerance today.
A General Teaching Council panel said it was ‘troubled’ by some of the postings made by Adam Walker, who also claimed Britain was becoming a ‘dumping ground for the filth of the Third World’.
But the three-member committee said it was not satisfied that the ‘intemperate’ views expressed by Mr Walker during his time at a school in Sunderland were suggestive of intolerance.
The 40-year-old was the first teacher to appear before the GTC accused of racial intolerance.
Mr Walker used a school laptop to access the website on which he allegedly also made derogatory remarks online about asylum seekers, immigrants and gay people.
Mr Walker, who resigned from Houghton Kepier Sports College in Houghton-le-Spring, admitted posting racist comments about Muslims.
He left the school three years ago but there were lengthy delays in the proceedings after the BNP member attempted to have the case thrown out.
His legal team argued that because his comments were not linked to his work, Mr Walker, from Spennymoor, County Durham, should not face professional misconduct charges.
Opening the case against the former soldier, GTC presenting officer Bradley Albuery alleged that postings made by the teacher demonstrated views suggestive of both racial and religious intolerance.
Mr Albuery said Mr Walker used the pseudonym Corporal Fox to make the postings to a forum on Teessideonline, which addressed the popularity of the BNP, during February and March 2007.
Mr Walker is alleged to have spent more than eight hours using the laptop for purposes not connected to his school duties.
The teacher, who worked at Houghton Kepier for more than six years, resigned after his headteacher asked IT staff to investigate his use of the internet.
The teacher's trade union representative, Patrick Harrington, told the three-member disciplinary panel that Mr Walker accepted he was wrong to use a computer to access Teessideonline during school time.
In a statement read to the hearing, Mr Walker stressed that he had not communicated his political thoughts and beliefs to staff or pupils at Houghton Kepier.
It said:‘I do not deny that I used my computer to access the internet.
‘With the value of hindsight I now regret making any personal use of the internet during lesson time. I would like to apologise for it.’
Mr Walker - who previously lived and worked as a teacher in Japan and married a Japanese woman - said his travels had led him to value the beauty and diversity of different cultures.
Commenting on the content of his postings, Mr Walker said he had been influenced by media coverage of a female PC shot dead by two illegal immigrants and the murder of British hostage Ken Bigley in Iraq.
‘Looking back now I feel that I was unduly influenced by the hostile climate the media created,’ Mr Walker explained. ‘This led me to express intemperate views which lacked complexity and balance.
‘I should have taken more time to think about the possible offence my words might have caused and I think I could have expressed myself more carefully and positively.
‘I have never condemned all immigrants or asylum seekers. My comments relate to those I perceive as coming to our country and committing criminal offences or otherwise behaving badly.
‘In many cases, I cut and pasted views from a variety of sources in order to provoke debate and these were not attributed.
‘Had I been posting under my own name, I would have taken more case to distinguish between my own views and the views of others I was reposting.’
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