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Debate on anti-gay texts in schools reaches Lords

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  1. To be quite honest I am always for eliminating discrimnatory elements out of our schools but there is the question of education. If such materials is used to teach our children that Homophobic behaviour is wrong an to what length people go then we should allow these materials to be in our school for the purpose of education. I read anti Black texts written in the USA and anti women texts at school in order to get an understanding of how people were treated.

    1. I understand your point Mat, although there should still be absolute vigilance and strong guidelines so as such materials are given the right context. I feel that in faith schools in particular that materials which state that gay boys and girls and men and women can become straight and that homosexuality is a lifestyle with detrimental judgements placed on us could very easily slip under the radar and be used without due context. This I feel breaches their duty of care and I would go as far as to revoke their funding if such cases were proven. Although I am against state funding of faith schools. Period.

      1. I would go so far as to remove state funding fronm all faith schools. Faith schools separate communities and I truly feel sorry for any LGBT child at one who would constantly be reminded about so-called “normal” lifestyles are the only right ones.

    2. Nobody would consider present school children with Mein Kampf to prove that the Christian lifestyle was what God expected of them.

      1. Of course it needs to be regulated and No you wouldn’t use “Mein Kampf” to make young people understand Christian believe but you would use Mein Kampf to give people an idea of what kind of a nutjob Hitler was but of course in a regulated environment inside the school. The more something is forbidden or banned the more people want to see something.

        1. My point is about the context of the material. It is not wrong to use Mein Kampf to show fascism can take power, because we all agree that killing Jews, is wrong. However, a sizeable minority of some churches believe that homosexuality is wrong and they are using this objectionable publication to prove their prejudices are justified. This type of education puts a gay child in a very difficult environment, not one that should be acceptable in a state funded school.

  2. Do we show children racist, sexist, agist etc texts during lessons? Didn’t at my school.

    1. Spanner1960 29 Feb 2012, 1:19pm

      Did at mine.
      Euqally, do you want to bury images of the Holocaust for being too extreme?
      At what point does something educational turn into a weapon? Or vice-versa?

      1. Spanner1960 29 Feb 2012, 6:47pm

        What c*nt keeps marking me down for benign comments?
        There really are some tossers on here these days.

        1. Tossers, spanners – what’s the difference.

    2. It is very important to show children racist, sexist, ageist and homophobic texts… not in any type of propaganda way, but to educate that people did and actually still do believe some of these things, they should be encouraged to discuss these issues.

    3. We had whole topics on the black community in History at school. Sexism was often discussed in Social Education.
      I really do feel they SHOULD show these texts. To teach kids how much the gay community has gone through in the past and help teach the ignorant teenagers of today that homophobic abuse is a serious crime.

      1. Oh dear. It is highly unlikely that any school that would present those texts would do so in a positive context.

    4. In R.E. when we studied sexism we only learnt about sexism towards women. Ironic.

  3. Try distributing a leaflet that says gingers are sinful and then claim it doesn’t cause bullying of ginger people.

    There would rightly be an uproar. Why must religious bigots think they are more equal than others?

    1. Spanner1960 29 Feb 2012, 1:19pm

      But Gingers ARE sinful! ;)

    2. Paddyswurds 29 Feb 2012, 11:07pm

      @Matt…..
      …….”a leaflet that says gingers are sinful”
      Isn’t there something in the buybel about Gingers…..lol…

      1. How would I know, I’m a devout vegetarian? ;)

  4. This is a difficult one. There’s no reason in principle why any literature should be banned from schools: you should be able to discuss and criticize this homophobic crap just as you should be able to discuss and criticize Mein Kampf, etc. We ought to be able to trust teachers to use extreme literature to educate their students in rhetoric, rather than to push prejudices upon them.

    But clearly, there is a danger that such literature will be given uncritically to a class who will use it to make the life of their gay classmate into a living hell. *That* should be regarded as gross professional misconduct by the teacher.

    Don’t ban things; do make people responsible for their actions. Don’t assume that any use of this literature would be inappropriate; do call out and punish those who actively or negligently incite hatred.

    1. But it wasn’t just a leaflet being distributed to show it’s ignorance. It was a homophobic speaker dishing them out as part of his speech.

      Controversial speakers shouldn’t be allowed in schools. Would we allow Abu Qatada to speak in our schools? No, so why christian extremists?

      1. So censure the speaker (interesting that that sounds so similar to censor :) !) and whoever invited him – letting anyone spout this crap without challenge is really harmful to the children, and should be treated as such.

        But actually banning books … seldom ends well. Really. Yes, we will all agree about the different character of this pamphlet and The Merchant of Venice, but there will always be loads of stuff in the middle, and I don’t want a bureaucrat, or even an elected person, telling people what they can and cannot read.

  5. The comparison with Merchant of Venice is fatuous. A better comparison would be the teaching of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion presented in an uncrtical way in -say – an Islamic school. It would never be allowed. Lots of things are banned from the school curriculum because it is inappropriate for children – hard core porn, for example. This kind of stuff is about as acceptable.

  6. Lord Hill is right that no material should be banned outright, and if this pamphlet is being critiqued for a class examining homophobic attitudes and their origins, then that’s fine. But does the government really think that’s what’s going on? Is it just a coincidence that these pamphlets are being distributed at Roman Catholic schools in particular, or are these very progressive Roman Catholic schools? At the very least, the government needs to look more closely at how these are being used, not rely on a hypothetical proper purpose to which they might be put.

  7. So … Lord Whatever over the Hill doesn’t see difference between the “Merchant of Venice” and a neonazzi pamphlet. … it seems he’d okay the distribution of the latter considering it just a minority point of view… am I shocked?

  8. Is this booklet to be considered ‘literature’ on the same level as The Merchant of Venice? I haven’t read it personally but somehow I doubt it. While it may be suitable for works of literature containing offensive language/ideas to be read in schools (with the anti-gay or whatever themes properly discussed I would hope) is there any need for some leaflet which is basically religious homophobic propaganda to be used in education?

  9. It’s weird to even be having this discussion. What are we supposed to do accept that some people want to call for us to be killed.

    I am becomming less tolerant of christian

  10. There must be a policy covering all equalities groups and putting them all on the same footing so that a homophobic text would not be allowed if the same level of racism in a text was not.

  11. material of controversial nature should be cleared by regulatory body first in terms of content and context in which it will be used. literature dealing with origins of life would be a good example here

  12. I posted this link on Twitter last night

    http://goo.gl/UVsxh

    It is the video on the BBC Democracy Live website when Lord Rennard asks about the leaflet

  13. We cannot, and should not, ban books in schools. I was involved a few years ago when I was at the Department for Education when there were calls to ban a book called ‘Colours of the Rainbow’ because it talked about homosexuality positively and was a resource to tackle bigotry. I had to inform the then Secretary of State that it could not be banned and had no statutory authority to do so. If this book were to be ‘banned’ there would be immediate calls for gay friendly balanced books to be banned too. What is missing here is information on how the school followed up discussion with the pupils afterwards. THAT is the crucial point.

    1. Whar kind of schools and teachers are using this book/leaflet and for what reason.

      I don’t whether this leaflet is mainstream.

  14. Mr. Ripley's Asscrack 29 Feb 2012, 7:28pm

    All I can say is that the fudging of this issue by Gove is yet another example of the privilege of religion and the (mentally-vulnerable) religious and their freedoms to get in the way of fostering good citizenship amongst our young people. When you even slightly suggest that that homosexuality is wrong and you will be judged by the almighty (crap) etc, it is saying that gay people are different and are a suitable targets. In-group love and out-group hatred. Simple as. Religion should only be practiced in churches and it should be left out of the classrooms – let them peddle their wears to the mentally-vulnerable people who buy into that crap in the safety of their churches.

  15. It is simple. Apply exactly the same standards to possible homophobic content as you would to racist ontent.
    No exceptions. This is called equality.

  16. TEXAS IS ALSO JUST ONE OF FIFTY STATES , THAT MUST FALL UNDER THE ACLU OF TEXAS AND HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONS OF ALL FAIR ACTS, YOU C AN NEVER EVER ALLOW ANY STATE ARE CITY TO ACT OUT TERRISM AND CRIMES AGAINST CITIZENS AND HUMANITY AGAINST THE CITIZENS, YOU DONT TELL TEXAS, YOU CAN MURDER AND KILL BECAUSE YOU ELECT TO IN TEXAS , HELL , NO YOU TELL ALL FIFTY STATES THE TRUTH, YOU MUST WALKI UNDER THAT HUMAN RIGHTS FAIRNESS BANNER, STATEWIDE AND COUNTRY WIDE ARE YOU WILL BE ACOSTED INDIVIDUALL OR BY GROUP AND REPRIMANDED AND FIRED , FROM POSITONS, TEXAS MUST REDISTRICT ANYWAY, BECAUSE OF ITS KNOW BIIGOTRY AGAINST MINORITIES AS WELL AS WOMEN AND LGBT FAMILIES, TO MY BIGGOTED REPUBLICANS THAT MUST GO, TEXAS ACLU MUST GET A TRASH CAN FOR ALL OF THEM, MAYOR ANNISE PARKER, DO OWE TEXAS, AN EXPALANATION FOR STANDING UP FOR FAIR ACTS OF GAYS OR HETERSEXUALS, IT IS HER JOB AND DUTY TO STEP UP AN ACT ON BEHALF OF ANY OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE BIENG VICTUMIZED IN ANYWAY FROM HATE CRIMES, OR ANY OTHR

  17. ANNISE PARKER, MUST SUE THE STATE OF TEXAS BIGOTS, FOR TRYING TO GET HER TO BE A CORRUPT MAYOR AND COMMIT ABUSES OF CITIZENS, AND HATE CRIMES AND TO TURN HER BACK ON THE VIOLENCE AND MISTREATMENT GOING ON OF THE STATES INSTEAD OF FIXING THE PROBLEMS LIKE SHE AS AN OFFICIAL REAL JOB IS TO DO, LEGAL MOMENTUM AND ACLU TEXAX AND NATIONS WIDE AND THE VOICES FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AN THE WOMENS ABUSE AND DISCRIMINATORY BOARD AND WOMENS LAWYERS, MUST STEP UP TO THE CULPRITS IN TEXAS, FOR THE BIGOTS, WHO HAVE TRIED TO GET HER TO TREAT OTHER S INJUSTLY, AND UNFAIR, THEREFORE CORRUPTING HER JOB AS AN OFFICIAL AND ADAPTING TO WRONGFUL ABUSES AS OTHERS, ANY UNFAIR TREATMENT IN TEXAS MUST GO BEFORE A NATIONWIDE TRIBUNAL OF OF TASKS FORCES AGAINST WRONG DOING OF OTHERS , BIGOTRY BEING ONE OF THE MAIN PROBLEMS, PERIOD, NO STATE MUST EVER BE ALLOWED TO COMMIT CRIMES AGAINST ANYONE AND CIIZTENS ANYWHERE, RAPE IS RAPE, HATE CRIMES ARE HATE CRIMES, THE VICTUMS EVERYWHERE MUST BE RECOMPENSED, AGAINST INJUSTICE

  18. THERE IS NO SUCH THING IS LORDS AND GODS AND JESUS AND ANY OTHER FALSE NAME OF DEITY, WE ARE DEALING WITH MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE MONSTERS AND OUT OF CONTROL LKE JOHN EDWARDS SAID, GREEDY FOR A TITLE RECOGNITION TO ABUSE OTHERS, SOME SICK CREEP CALLED ME AND SAID WE ALL WANT TO RULE OVER PEOPLE , SAID YOU SICK CREEP YOU ARE INSANE, DECENT PEOPLE JUST SIMPLY WANT TO LIVE PEACEFUL HAPPY LIVES GOING ON ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS, BEASTS WHO WANT TO ABUSE , OTHERS BECAUSE THEY WANT TO FEEL IMPERIOR TO OTHERS ALWAYS TURN OUT TO BE ABUSERS EVERYTIME, WICKED CLASS MATES, I HAD SOME WHEN I WAS IN SCHOOL HEADED GANGS IN SSCHOOL THOUGHT THEY WHERE BETTER THAN OTHER KIDS, HELD DRUG PARTIES AT THEIR WEATH;Y HOUSES, AND GOT ALL THE OTHER CHILDREN IN TROUBLE ALL THE TIME FOR LISTENING TO THEM , THE SAME AS THE SE WICKED RELIGIONS, SYCHOS, THE ACLU AND NATIONAL POLICE TASK FORCES HAD BETTER MAKE IT CLEAR TO THESE CREEPS IN THESE SCHOOLS AND RELIGIONS, YOU HAD BETTER TREAT THOSE CHILDREN RIGHT ALL OF THEM

    1. Are you reading the same story as everyone else Carrie?

      1. I think I’ve realised what you’ve done. The story is about anti gay “texts” in schools, not “Texas”

  19. No. Of course that material should not be allowed in schools. To do so is tantamount to allowing anti-semitic material, or the writings of white supremacists. This is just common bloody sense.

  20. Seems to me that this leaflet is obviously inappropriate and the govt is too scared, for some reason, to admit it.

    Why don’t they come clean on this?

    Why don’t they encourage homosexuality to be taught in all schools. Why don’t they include CPs in their descirption of how these are as important as marriages for the bringing up of children amd to family life.

    No, it’s quite clear, teachers are still not allowed to tell their pupils that being gay is ok and that we are equals.

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