Why a teacher from a school in Rotterdam has to go into hiding

What happened?

Why is this news?

For that we have to start with what happened two weeks ago in France. There, a high school teacher was murdered after showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in a lesson on freedom of speech.

After the murder of this teacher, discussion arose not only in France, but also in other countries about cartoons about the prophet. Some people think that freedom of speech, but many Muslims see it differently: according to them, the cartoons are offensive.

This week, schools in many countries thought about what happened in France. In schools in the Netherlands it meant talking about it in class, sometimes a minutes silence was held. Also at the Emmauscollege in Rotterdam students were silent for a minute on Monday.

Later that day, there was a lot of stuff at the school between a teacher and a couple of students who thought he should take a cartoon off a bulletin board. The pupils thought that the cartoon, which the teacher would have hung his classroom about five years ago, was a print of the prophet Muhammad.

This is different: according to the artist, it is a cartoon of a jihadist. But teachers would not have been able to make that clear to the students.

The teacher finally took away the print. But later, he still got threats. Came because the picture was put on Insta and then went viral. โ€œIf this is not removed very quickly, we are going to do it differently,โ€ someone wrote, for example, under the post. Now the teacher is in hiding. Other teachers at the school would not feel safe anymore, says the newspaper NRC.

Who finds what?

We went to the school in Rotterdam to talk to students. You want to know what they think about what happened at their school? Check the video on our Insta.

The drawing artist says that he finds it annoying for the teacher that he is now threatened for his drawing. But he doesnt understand the fuss about his drawing. For, he says, he did not sign Prophet Muhammad, but a jihadist. If you dont know what that is, check More to know? at the bottom of the article. โ€œI made the print in 2015, when the decapitations by IS were a lot in the news,โ€ says the draftsman. โ€œAnd they walked along as I depicted.โ€

Education Minister Slob has also responded. He talked to the teacher of the school in Rotterdam. โ€œVery heavy if you suddenly find yourself in this situation,โ€ says Slob. He says what happened at this school isnt an incident. According to Slob, there are teachers in other schools in our country who feel that they cannot always teach freely.

The cabinet is now working on a law to ensure that lessons on freedom of expression and become mandatory in all schools in the Netherlands, says Slob. Its because it has happened many times that topics have been complicated to discuss in school. The law should help schools with that later.

The chairman of secondary schools has also said something. He calls what happened at the school โ€œunacceptable.โ€ He says he thinks it is that โ€œwe continue to stand behind the teachers who make these difficult topics negotiable with the studentsโ€.