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London girls’ school ‘asked theatre company to remove gay scenes’

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  1. Patrick James 2 Jul 2010, 3:37pm

    I think we can expect many more stories like this one in the coming years when the Conservative party’s “free schools” start to be established.

    The vast majority of these “free schools” will be run by religions I strongly suspect, indeed people like St Margaret’s headteacher Mark Webster will I suspect be setting them up.

    There will be one massive difference between the “free schools” and St Margaret’s School in Hampstead, the “free schools” will be paid for entirely by the tax payer, whereas the parents who send their children to St Margaret’s pay £10,000 per year.

    Think about it, the “free schools” will be set up by just about any homophobe who wishes to do so.

    They will be paid for by the general public, but, amazingly, able to then turn away people who don’t happen to be in the particular religion of the “free school”.

    The “free schools” will have carte blanche to do whatever they like with respect to sex and relationship education.

    The Conservative party’s “free schools” programme is a massive golden gift to the religions of the UK.

    It was ironic that on 18 June when Theresa May was talking a load of guff about LGBT issues, which when looked at closely added up to nothing, on that day Michael Gove was doing something very real and tangible which was setting out the government’s plans for the “free schools” as reported in this Guardian article.

    It is worth noting that Michael Gove makes no mention of religions as the interested parties but of course religions are exactly the organisations who will be setting up these schools.

    In January the Daily Mail printed an article Why David Cameron wants a boom in faith schools. In the article it says:

    Senior figures in the Roman Catholic Church have already expressed a strong interest in running the “free schools” proposed by the Conservatives.

  2. vulpus_rex 2 Jul 2010, 3:45pm

    What a load of specualtive guff from the usual die-hard labour shill.

    Re the article – I don’t think twelve year olds should be watching simulated rape scenes whether gay or straight – and to say that by not letting them see this you are practically infecting them with STDs by hand would be hilarious if it wasn’t such toxic, disingenuos cr*p.

  3. Mummy: “And what did you do at school today poppet?”
    Schoolgirl: “I watched some man on man gay rape action”
    Wow, school sure is a lot more interesting then when I was there….

  4. Sister Mary Clarance 2 Jul 2010, 4:52pm

    Still bitter I see the Patrick.

    In reality the school is probably packed to the rafters with Champagne Socialists with barely a Tory in sight.

  5. only Patrick pays attention to the article
    the staff we’re homophobes FFS!

  6. Sister Mary Clarance 2 Jul 2010, 6:16pm

    “Think about it, the “free schools” will be set up by just about any homophobe who wishes to do so.”

    Not away it said anything about that in the article Chester?

    Perhaps you could point me to the relevant bit?

  7. Sister Mary Clarance 2 Jul 2010, 6:24pm

    ‘Not aware’ even ….

  8. The school’s request IS homophobic, folks, if the article is accurate. The issue of kids watching a rape is a red herring here. It is clearly suggested that the school wanted ALL references to l&g relationships cut out. As a footnote, I hope more positive representations of l&g life than a boy getting raped get included in this show.

  9. It does seem weird to include a gay rape scene, though it seems to have upset an adult, not the students, who were maybe more astute. Not sure what they were seeking to teach, though I understand rape is about power, whether it’s rape of a male or a female, rather than sex. Maybe using 2 males was less upsetting for girls to see?

  10. Patrick James 2 Jul 2010, 7:53pm

    It is funny to be accused of being bitter by Sister Mary Clarence for whom bitter self hatred is I think a way of being.

    My comment on the “free schools” to be set up by the Conservative party is all based on the actual statements of the Conservative party, although it is true the Conservative party did not actually state that homophobes are welcome explicitly :) but looking at the plans that message is very strong.

    The Conservative party’s free schools program is a giant gift to the religions of the UK. The Conservative party has told us that there has been a huge amount of interest in these schools from religions.

    The Conservative party worked very hard prior to the election to make sure that religious schools would be exempt from having to consider homosexuality in relationship and sex education.

    I will reveal now that I went to a religious school myself. I can see already that maybe Sister Mary Clarence or Vulpus Rex wish to scream “hypocrite” or something but if they read further they might come to understand a bit more (okay unlikely).

    I grew up in Northern Ireland where nearly all schools are religious schools. They are not fee paying, they are paid for by the state.

    So, you see just about all children in Northern Ireland go to a religious school of some kind or another.

    Looking at the results we can hardly see the idea of state funded religious schools for all as a “good idea” :) However that is exactly the policy the Conservative party is adopting, however their “free schools” are substantially more dangerous, liberated as they are from any real state control (whilst funded by state money)

    I would hate for children to receive the kind of education I had. Homosexuality was never mentioned in the school, it was as if it never existed, except in situations where children might not be good at games in which case the games masters would accuse them of being poofs, or homos.

    Every year we had a memorial service to remember the Jews that had died in the holocaust. We also remembered the Roma and disabled people.

    We didn’t remember homosexuals. Those of us who knew that gay people were victims of the holocaust were left wondering if perhaps they had deserved their fate in the school’s eyes.

    David Cameron has explicitly stated his intentions for these “free schools” in this Daily Mail article:

    Why David Cameron Wants Boom in Faith Schools.

    This was reported in many places as well as the Daily Mail of course.

    Here are a couple of quotes from the article:

    Senior figures in the Roman Catholic Church have already expressed a strong interest in running the ‘free schools’ proposed by the Conservatives.

    Under the plans, faith groups, charities and businesses could apply to operate the new schools using taxpayers’ money.

  11. Sister Mary Clarance 2 Jul 2010, 9:13pm

    Patrick, how short your memory:

    Tony Blair on faith schools

    [Extract from Jeremy Paxman interview, BBC2, 16/5/02]

    JP: Is it your religious conviction that makes you tolerant of the idea of faith schools?

    TB: No, I think there is a strong case for faith schools because I think parents often like to have their children brought up with the certain ethos that they believe in, and I think what people should remember about faith schools, is that we have had faith schools for years in this country, the issue is simply whether we say to the Muslim community, you can have Christian faith schools, you can have Jewish faith schools but you can’t have Muslim faith schools. I don’t know how I would explain that to them.

    JP: You don’t accept the force of Peter Hain’s point the other day, that that would be likely to encourage what he calls “isolationism” in the Muslim community?

    TB: No, I think it is actually better to have communities feeling that they can have faith schools which obviously then abide by the national curriculum, than having sometimes people on more of an ad hoc basis with particular majorities in particular schools.

    JP: You would be happy for your child to be taught that was it was literally true that the world was made in six days?

    TB: I don’t think my children are taught that. I’m not sure that any children are.

    JP: You would be happy for your child to go to a school in which that was imparted as fact?

    TB: Well, I don’t know that it is imparted as fact. Who imparts that as fact?

    JP: Creationists impart that as fact.

    TB: If this is to do with the school up in the north-east, I wouldn’t believe everything that’s said. I think you will find the school abides by the national curriculum and teaches children perfectly well. I know there is a lot of criticism of that school, but look at the results. They are pretty good.

  12. Sister Mary Clarance 2 Jul 2010, 9:30pm

    And going back slightly further:

    In the run-up to the 2001 general election, Tony Blair told a conference of faith groups organised by the Christian Socialist Movement that church schools were a pillar of the education system, ‘valued by very many parents for their faith character, their moral emphasis and the high quality of education they generally provide’ (The Guardian 30 March 2001).

    Blair’s second term: against the grain

    With New Labour returned to power, it quickly became clear that the government’s commitment to faith-based education would be even more marked in its second term. It cut the capital contribution for voluntary aided schools from 15 per cent to 10 per cent and announced that religious groups would be encouraged to work with the private sector in running weak or failing schools (The Guardian 15 June 2001).

    So despite a small revolt by back bench Labour MPs in 2002 who were not quite so convinced about the benefits of young vulnerable minds being left in the hands of religious bigots, Tony Blair (of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation) ploughed on with the introduction of faith schools. It does make me giggle therefore that you were able to muffle your disgust for faith schools for almost a decade Patrick before you outrage boiled over, strangely coinciding with the fall of NuLabour

  13. Okay, so the school’s request is homophobic, but if the theatre company’s first reference to homosexuality is a gay rape scene – how’s that for positive representation?

  14. THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS IN THE STORY, OSCAR, YOU IDIOT.

  15. More proof that modern schooling isn’t so much to actually “teach” students how to function in the real world but more so to PROGRAM them to behave a certain way and have specific prejudice. Gotta love when the crazies get to dictate what is for the greater good of everyone based on THEIR own set of biases and beliefs.

  16. friday jones 2 Jul 2010, 11:30pm

    Shocking and offensive, everybody knows that rape is only something that happens to straight girls who aren’t careful, because boys and lesbians have this impenetrable force field that prevents them from being sexually assaulted even when they’re passed out!

  17. Sister Mary Clarance 3 Jul 2010, 12:48am

    Dan I think the point has been made in the mainstream press that male rape is often perpetrated by non-gay males because it is about power and control, so the male rape scene although male on male may have no gay involvement as such.

    This point would seem to have been overlooked by the school, judging by their comments though

  18. > The row apparently happened after the first performance on
    > substance abuse and sex showed a boy being raped by another boy.
    > …
    > Barry Lillie from Black Cat told the Times Education Supplement
    > that the decision was “morally reprehensible” and would put
    > students in danger.
    >
    > He said: “It seemed very odd in this day and age. If you are
    > going to broaden children’s minds about sex you have got to talk
    > to them about all different types of sex.
    >
    > “It is no less important in a girls’ school. There are girls
    > that are gay as well as boys. They can come up against the same
    > prejudices and also catch sexually transmitted diseases.

    Err, now this is where this here habit of of terming everything LGB or T gay causes problems.

    This was a girls’ school. The pupils are not going to experience rape as a gay man by a gay man, unless there’s some trans men in amongst them. They could suffer rape as a woman by a man, or, at a stretch, rape as a woman by a woman. Yes it would be about power, and carry infection risks, but it wouldn’t be exactly the same. Seems to me quite possible the theatre company hadn’t thought out the need to adapt for an all-female target audience, or were too inflexible, then just used it to generate publicity.

    If the private school is booking such plays for 12-year-olds, and, as they say including “Gay relationships and sex education (as) part of our school’s personal, social and health education programme” they certainly are not amongst the bad guys.

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