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Straight teacher loses homophobic harassment claim

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Reader comments

  1. David North 14 Dec 2009, 4:41pm

    Sounds like a right Chancer to me….

  2. Does sound like he tried everything he could to get out with a claim for compensation.

  3. It sounds like he had consistently very poor legal advice as to the law to hang his suit on.

  4. 14 Dec 2009, 6:29pm

    The schoolchildren were self-evidently not fellow employees, which (if they had been) would have given some substance to a harassment claim.

    A local authority that took no, or inadequate, steps to end harassment by pupils might have been said to be condoning it. But it would be hard to prove that it was primarily responsible for it. Therefore, on the basis of this claim alone, it’s hard to see how it could have been successful.

    If you add to it the fact that he had previously made a disability claim which was denied, then you have to conclude either that he was absolutely desperate to draw some attention to his suffering, and get compensation, or revenge.

    Can a married and self-identifying heterosexual person claim against homophobic harassment? The question would be whether it was a valid claim at all, considering his sexual orientation, i.e. whether being straight made it impossible for him to be harassed homophobically.

    I don’t know enough about this area of law, but it would be interesting to see how it might be argued by a brief. Would a footballer who made a bad move in a match, and attracted shouts of “fairy” or “poof”, be able to complain of homophobic harassment even if he identified as straight?

    I asked Kitty what she thought. She said it would make a purrfect topic for a PhD. Very helpful. NOT!

  5. Wow, it sounds like this man has some issues…certainly not related to being straight or bald. O.o

  6. When I was growing up in Newcastle years ago a local shopkeeper(white) with a kydney complaint developed dark skin as a result and was attacked by racist youths as a ‘Paki’. The racism of their motives and actions was nonetheless real for that. If someone intentionally subjects you to homophobic abuse that is what it is, regardless of your actual sexual orientation. This guy’s problem was the implausibility of the case he brought. We also are not given enough information here about what the school did, if anything, to protect him.

  7. PS – Campbell may have got more mileage out of claiming that the Council had a duty of care towards him as an employee and did not do enough to create a safe environment. It was certainly ludicrous to claim that the school pupils were Council employees. But, since he had earlier claimed that baldness was a disability, clear thinking would not seem to be his strong suit.

  8. BrazilBoysBlog 14 Dec 2009, 7:14pm

    Yes, it would appear the guy was trying it on… He needs to decide whether he chose to leave the teaching profession due to homophobic bullying, or about being teased re: baldness. Obviously a chancer.. Problem is that these spurious claims are meat on the bones for those against REAL discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

  9. “If someone intentionally subjects you to homophobic abuse that is what it is, regardless of your actual sexual orientation.”

    I agree with Riondo on that well put point.

  10. Tim Hopkins 15 Dec 2009, 9:57am

    There has been at least one successful case where a straight person has complained to the Employment Tribunal of homophobic harassment by other employees at their work.

    So straight people are protected, by the anti-discrimination law, against homophobic harassment. But, as others have said, there is limited protection from third-party harassment – that is, where the harassment at your work is not by other employees there, but is by other people.

  11. As a straight person I have been bullied out of a job because I objected to homophobic comments being made by other members of staff and the director. I am not saying that this is certainly the case here but sexual orientation is not always relevant when the basis of the bullying is homophobia.

  12. Wow, we certainly do live in the first world – “I need a disability pension because someone called me bald which hurt my self esteem and caused me to retire early” – boo hoo…

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