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Comment: Encouraging pupils to sign the Coalition for Marriage is shocking, repugnant and probably illegal

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  1. Great article, Richy

    Are you considering lodging a test case?

    This is clearly a political act. C4M have stated they are not a religious based body – thus promoting a non-religious petition is clearly political.

    1. Richy Thompson 26 Apr 2012, 4:17pm

      Marcus – yes, that’s what we’re considering. If we can find the right pupil!

      1. Good luck, Richy

        I hope you locate a pupil who can make this work!

        1. Please go through with this? These people need to be challenged and we don’t have the strength of voice that they do. Best of luck.

      2. In other words manipulate someone into doing what you want? Nice to see such bias in the articles we read on the “news” these days.

        1. Commander Thor 26 Apr 2012, 6:01pm

          No, he meant a clear thinking pupil, whose parents are not religious nutties that will forbid their child from helping fight discrimination against a minority.

      3. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Apr 2012, 6:06pm

        Richy, was Pink News able to help you with that in regard to the pupil who contacted them? Did they get an actual name of the girl? I find it rather strange if they didn’t. I mean surely this could only be verified if the pupil gave her full name and a phone number where she could be contacted? At least Pink News could have called to verify the pupil as genuine assuming such information would have been provided to them.

        1. Richy Thompson 26 Apr 2012, 9:07pm

          We have discussed that but it looks like that pupil isn’t interested.

          1. General Teaching Council as an option?

    2. hmmm, from the devil’s advocate point of view this can be the case of CES agreeing with C4M by claiming that the central message of C4M petition represent religious point of view and therefore CES reserve the right to promote that religious view in the shape of petition

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Apr 2012, 6:23pm

        Yes, but CES are not supposed to be supporting any political party or their views and coercing their pupils into signing any petition. That’s entirely up to the parents if the children are under 18, not CES or the teachers and should be done outside of the school environment.

        http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/03/05/comment-the-coalition-for-marriage-a-creeping-rhizome-of-religious-extremism/

        1. Also, C4M say they are a non-religious organisation.

          1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Apr 2012, 8:38pm

            Neil, obviously they’re not if you check the link in my previous post. A bunch of psychopathic liars if you ask me. Lord Carey is the Anglican front man for them. None of them are true christians by any stretch of the imagination, in name only and that’s where the similarity ends.

          2. Robert

            I know they are religious.

            They claim they are not though.

            So in their own words it must be political.

        2. but can you promote religious message expressed by political body

          1. There is a difference between discussing a religious message (which arguable marriage could be seen as – if talking about church marriage) and political issues eg civil marriage or encouraging (and including reference to it on a powerpoint has to be encouragement) people to sign a petition in relation to a government proposal. How is mentioning campaigning about government proposals ever not political?

          2. but in roman catholic faith marriage is between man and woman, something C4M promotes in their petition

          3. What is your point Kane?

          4. Stu the point is that despite being political C4M promotes religious point of view in its petition and therefore CES can legally promote this message

          5. No. Kane

            They can legally discuss the issue of marriage.

            They can legally discuss the issue of whether same sex couples should marry.

            They must give a balanced view on this (particularly bearing in mind it is a current political issue).

            They must not promote (including a single poster or single screen on a presentation) any political campaigning (which C4M is) without giving similar attention to any other campaign.

            They did not offer publicity for C4EM thus this presentation in itself is illegal.

  2. Perhaps the Catholic Education Service could tell us how they encouraged their schools to promote this RC teaching whilst ensuring balanced commentary on opinion in this matter?

    If they did not surely they breached all the following aspects of Equality and Education law that they are required to comply with:
    * Failure to foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
    * Failure to advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
    * Failure to have due regard to the need to foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
    * Failure to tackle prejudice and promote understanding
    * Failure to forbid the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school

  3. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems quite clear that asking schoolchildren as young as 11 to sign a petition to can only ever be political and not religious.

    1. *to sign a petition to the Government…

      1. Particularly when the petition they are signing have publically claimed they are not allied to any religious group and are not a religious organisation!

        It is political. Simple as.

        1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Apr 2012, 6:56pm

          Check this article for more clarification. It proves they are allied. C4M most definitely is.

          http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/03/05/comment-the-coalition-for-marriage-a-creeping-rhizome-of-religious-extremism/

          1. Yes, but C4M CLAIM they are non religious – thus they must be political.

            If they want to insist on their non religious basis, then they must accept being treated as such.

  4. I suggest the Catholic faith look closer to home and sort out their own failings before attempting to impose their religious demands through the support of children too scared to say no and too scared to say no in other aspects too.

  5. I think it would have been acceptable to discuss same sex marriage in an RE lesson if a teacher had said that although the official Catholic doctrine is against same sex marriage it is not widely supported by the church’s followers and there are Catholic groups campaigning against it. In order to give the correct context within a lesson they would have also needed to explain that other Christian faiths such as Quakers, MCC and Unitaians do support and perform same sex marriage and that there is a growing movement in favour of it in C of E churches. That is the sort of balance that would have been required and they clearly failed to provide that.

    The behaviour of the teacher in question is illegal and will have caused damage to some of the children exposed to it.

  6. People need to contact Ofsted and request that the headmistress of this school is suspended (without pay) and all state funding to this school suspended, until the completion of a police and Ofsted investigation.

    The headmistress of this school sounds as if she could be guilty of child abuse, if she engaged in these actions.

    Contact Ofsted at:

    enquiries@ofsted.gov.uk

    1. dAVID

      OfSted do not have the power to suspend a headteacher. The only people with power to do that are the board of governors or (in the case of a state school) the LEA. In the case of a religiously affiliated school the relevant diocese could also suspend the headteacher.

      Its worth raising it with OfSted for opinion, but the only ways this can be progressed is mass publicity and a test case as the BHA are considering.

      1. So Ofsted is not empowered to suspend a woman who is suspected of being a child abuser like this head teacher is?

        Shocking!

        1. I agree its shocking.

          All OfSted can do regarding suspensions etc is make recommendations to the employers or disciplinary authorities.

          In the case of this school I suspect the disciplinary authority is the board of governors and the employer may be the LEA (if Sutton LEA act as agency for the RC church) or may be the RC diocese.

          What OfSted could do is initiate an equality inspection.

    2. Phils_justice 26 Apr 2012, 7:46pm

      Dear Parents / Carers
      You may have seen recent press articles concerning an assembly on marriage. You will
      also be aware of the nationwide petition in support of the current definition of marriage in
      English Law.
      The assembly given by the Headteacher followed the advice from the Catholic Education
      Service and was based on the recent pastoral letter on Marriage from the Bishops’
      Conference of England and Wales.
      The Bishops make it clear that neither the Church nor the State has the power to change
      the fundamental understanding of marriage. They reaffirmed the ideals of marriage from a
      Christian perspective whilst recognising that marriage is a natural institution and the
      foundation of society.
      We were all reminded by the Bishops that “We have a duty to married people today, and to
      those who come after us, to do all we can to ensure that the true meaning of marriage is
      not lost for future generations.”
      Yours sincerely
      Mary Howard
      Chair of Governors

      1. So the chair of governors regards the duty from the Archbishops to perpetuate homophobia as more important than her duty to ensure her headteacher and school comply with the Education Act or Equality Act.

        Shameful.

        Hate must not win.

    3. Bella Brahms 26 Apr 2012, 10:26pm

      Making school children aware of a petition about the definition of marriage, and even giving a message supporting them in signing it, does not come anywhere near the threshold child abuse.

      Let’s get some perspective here.

      1. Whether or not it is abuse, it is a breach of the Equalities Act and the Education Act

  7. Archbishop of Taunton 26 Apr 2012, 4:38pm

    Campaigning against the proposed changes, as the Catholic church is doing by various methods, is obviously political. And it is a clear attempt to boost the signatures on the petition using pupils as signature fodder. In my view it adds to concerns about the validity of the petition generally, as well as to concerns about promoting homophobia in schools.

  8. Ian Taylor 26 Apr 2012, 4:42pm

    “Yesterday’s PinkNews.co.uk exclusive that the Catholic Church encouraged pupils in all its secondary schools to sign the Coalition for Marriage’s petition against anti-gay marriage was hugely shocking. Not only were the actions morally repugnant, but it also appeared that the Catholic Education Service (CES) were breaking a number of laws – both on equalities and against political indoctrination.”

    Shouldn’t that be “…sign the Coalition for Marriage’s petition against gay marriage…”

  9. I actually GO to this school and I HATE the headteacher. she is very annoying! and I’m really glad that she is going to get an enquiry. good riddance miss neun!

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Apr 2012, 5:29pm

      If you are indeed a pupil at the school, why don’t you contact Richy Thompson by clicking on the link in the body of the article where it says..”get in touch”, highlighted in pink?

    2. Spell it right ‘Miss Noone.’

    3. not gonna say my name 26 Apr 2012, 8:09pm

      If you went to st philomenas, you would know for a fact that her names is not miss ‘neun’ LOL and alot of people dislike her but fact is, she did nothing wrong, she did what the arch bishop told her too, and she only made the year 7′s aware.

      1. Do you have people with dyslexia at your school – or do you disapprove of them too?

        I tend to believe this person is portraying your school truthfully and with integrity.

        She should be congratulated and saluted.

  10. Rory Rodriguez 26 Apr 2012, 5:00pm

    If Children as young as 11 were truly encouraged to sign this,it should be considered child abuse,as filling a childs mind with hate and prejudice at such a young age clearly is abuse. Some of these children may well have gay parents, even when i was at school in the 80′s I had a friend who lived with his Mum and her girlfriend, in a sleepy rural Dorset market town with a population of 16000, so its not that uncommon!! I also have close friends who are church going catholics who would be disgusted at this,its 2012, we have an Equaliy Act,it should be used to prosecute anyone who preaches hate!!

    1. we were The whole school had to sit through this assembly year 7, 8 ,9 ,10, 11 and sixth form, the sixth form student reported this and if you go to thatt article every word is true

    2. Bella Brahms 26 Apr 2012, 10:29pm

      I work in child protection. The actions of the headteacher might be many things but it is not child abuse.

      Let’s not become as hysterical over this issue as the Catholic Church is.

      1. As an isolated instance its probably not abuse (as a former child protection professional I agree). Although with sustained similar behaviour, there may be a pattern of concerning behaviour.

      2. Its certainly worth giving advice to the headteacher about though. When I was a headteacher, I was aware of a colleague in another school who was given formal advice about the use of language and persuasion which could be seen to undermine the ethos of equality in a school and that persistant undermining of a single group of people could be construed as abuse.

  11. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Apr 2012, 5:36pm

    I’d like Ms. Noone to provide the evidence for all of the harm equal marriage will cause. In fact, C4M should be asked the question (I emailed them but received no response of course). She’s free to contact the governments of ten countries and ask for a report on the cause and effects of equal marriage and their negative impacts on traditional marriage. I don’t think she’d like the responses which would prove her to be a bigot and a liar. These people really don’t do their homework. If I were her of even the head of C4M, I would have contacted all ten governments and demanded the evidence with particular reference to polygamy, incestuous and bestial relationships and the inability of heterosexuals to continue marrying. Maybe something Lynne Featherstone could do or have one of her aides do it for her. I can just seem the bigots running for cover if that were to happen.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Apr 2012, 5:36pm

      …see the bigots running….

  12. This shows that the anti gay Catholics are criminals who teach their children to hate LGBT people which makes trouble for gays, law enforcement and everybody involved. These ant gay criminals need to be brought to justice before they can harm more people.

  13. LOLOLOL Editing comments to stop views you don’t want to come through. Nice try, biased website. Little else.

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Apr 2012, 6:24pm

      So, try a straight website. What are you doing trolling a gay site for anyway? Prurient interest?

    2. Any independent view is welcome

      Trying to indoctrinate children who are a captive audience, particularly when no balance is given to the viewpoints on a political matter is illegal.

      Now, you might not like that it is illegal – but in the UK that is a fact.

      A responsible news outlet would report on a large organisation seeking to repeatedly breach Education and Equality law.

      Well done PinkNews.co.uk.

  14. I think its good because it probably further voids the Petition and removes any credibility from it. No one going to take something where half the signatures are from school children seriously.

  15. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Apr 2012, 6:29pm

    Has anyone noticed all of the fake females posing as pupils or former pupils of St. Philomena’s in the first article about this? It tells you a lot about these religious sociopaths doesn’t it? They have to lie to make their point. Not what I’d expect from a catholic school where they’re supposed to learn about truth and honesty. Clearly lost on them. Shut the catholic schools down. They want a religious based education, let them pay for it themselves instead of using gay taxpayers to foot the bill. In fact all faith schools shouldn’t be funded considering that the majority of the public don’t worship.

    1. thats what trolls are, most of the fake females are not supporting this article even though its 100% true, the ones who say it isnt are trolls. this comment really angers me, people go to the catholic school (excluding those who want good education) because they are catholic, its a massive religion so your comment at the end isnt very true.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Apr 2012, 6:53pm

        Catholicism is a minority religion in the UK and it’s not the state religion either although it would like to be. Why should taxpayers have to fund these schools including all faith schools? Religion isn’t innate, it’s chosen, much like a hobby. I don’t know of any other hobby funded by the state either. Why should gay taxpayers in particular have to help fund homophobia unless one is a closeted self loather like a lot who come in here ranting on like demented fools?

  16. Excellent to see the Welsh government are concerned about the actions of the RC church in this matter

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-17861000

    A Welsh government spokesperson has said: “The education minister has seen the press stories and has asked officials to investigate. All schools must ensure issues are taught in a way that does not subject pupils to discrimination.”

    Its time Michael Gove also took such action.

  17. not gonna say my name 26 Apr 2012, 8:24pm

    I’d just like to say i am not homophobic myself but I don’t agree with gay marriage that’s my view I am entitle to that view and just because they’re urging them to sign the form doesn’t make them homophobic it just means they don’t share the same views as you

    1. Robert in S. Kensington 26 Apr 2012, 8:35pm

      Delusional at best! Anyone can say they have gay friends too and it doesn’t mean they’re not homophobic behind our backs. There’s a name for that, it’s called “bigotry”. There is no such thing as gay marriage. The ten governments allowing equal marriage have a clause in their civil marriage laws and call it “gender neutral” marriage not “gay marriage”. It’s tantamount to asking us to sign a petition banning inter-faith marriages although we like people of other faiths and have nothing against them, therefore we’re not anti religion. Ditto if it were a petition calling for a ban on funding for catholic schools by claiming that we hav nothing against catholics, it’s just our point of view. Do you really think we’re that gullible to fall for that? That you use “gay marriage” is code for homophobia. It started in America among right wing religious hate groups. Pink News has even become aware of the inferences it invokes after using the term itself and thankfully has refrained

    2. How can you not be homophobic if you imply that you’d like to deprive LGBT people of equal rights?

      Have you noticed that no gay people feel the need to go round campaigning against straight marriage just because they don’t fancy it and can’t understand the attraction? I’m female and I don’t want to marry a man but I wouldn’t DREAM of trying to stop you marrying one (presuming you’re female and straight). Nor would I seek to try to ban your religion even though I don’t share it.

      Have some empathy and understand that we can be different yet equal.

      If you don’t want to marry someone of the same sex then don’t. It’s that simple. But just because YOU don’t want to do something, don’t try to deprive others of that legal right – because if you do you ARE homophobic.

      1. Robert in S. Kensington 27 Apr 2012, 12:22am

        Well said, Iris. I think it’s a male.

        1. Oh, Ok, Robert – thank you :D Male or female, I still don’t get why people feel such a need to interfere in other people’s lives. To me, it smacks of trying to place themselves in a position of privilege that they don’t want others to share, and trying to increase their own self-esteem by denigrating another group of human beings.

      2. Someone posted here a while back that it’s a bit like saying “I don’t like mustard on my burger, so no mustard for you!”
        That analogy hits the nail on the head.

    3. So you are not homophobic but you believe that gay people should be treated as inferiors under the law. How is that not homophobic?

    4. “they don’t share the same views as you”

      This isn’t an opinion on a book or a film, you moron, its civil liberties. Equality for people denied it. As granting equal marriage doesn’t affect you in any way whats so ever, ergo, its a homophobic position/opinion you/they hold. So grow up and get over it.

      1. Well said!

    5. Dr Robin Guthrie 27 Apr 2012, 9:32am

      Why are you “not gonna say my name”.

      If you are willing to deny basic rights to people at least have the gumption to SAY YOUR NAME and own your opinion.

      Anything else is moral cowardice.

  18. Has anyone thought of reporting the headteacher to the General Teaching Council and seeking to have her struck off for breach of issues of diversity and equality or bringing the profession into disrepute?

    1. Bella Brahms 26 Apr 2012, 10:31pm

      Excellent idea.

    2. It should be the Teaching Agency (they now have remit for the GTC)

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