Teddy Bear Teacher Tells Her Own Tale

Gibbons doesn't regret going to Sudan, blames herself for ordeal
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2007 10:34 AM CST
Teddy Bear Teacher Tells Her Own Tale
Lord Nazir Ahmed talks during a presser at the Sudanese Presidential palace following his meeting with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, not pictured, in Khartoum, Sudan, Monday, Dec. 3, 2007. Bashir agreed to pardon a British teacher jailed here after she allowed her students to name a teddy bear...   (Associated Press)

"I had no idea at all that I'd done something wrong," Gillian Gibbons tells the Guardian in an interview about her incarceration in Sudan for letting her class name a teddy bear Mohammed. But the teacher's ordeal hasn't soured her on Khartoum, which she calls a "wonderful place," and neither is Gibbons trying to bandy blame.

Though at times terrified that her guards would "come in and teach the blaspheming white woman a lesson," Gibbons stresses that she was never mistreated. "Ignorance of the law is no defense," Gibbons admits, though she also suggested that the uproar might have been avoided if it weren't for a whistleblowing secretary who wanted to make trouble for the school. (More Gillian Gibbons stories.)

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