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Maria Miller: Teachers won’t be forced to promote same-sex marriage but they must not discriminate or offend

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  1. Why would you need to wait for Europe to tell you what you can or cannot say? As a teacher you should keep your opinions to yourself and only teach the facts, regardless of what kind of school you’re in. Once again a load of hand-wringing because of the fear that bigotry might be curtailed.

  2. That There Other David 25 Jan 2013, 10:02am

    I can guarantee that in so-called “faith” schools it will be taught as something that absolutely should not be allowed, then the teacher will suddenly claim their rights to express their opinion are being curtailed if anyone calls them up on it. Teachers who are anti-equality should keep their opinions to themselves.

    The government needs to break the link between religious organisations and state funded education. The taxes I pay are being channelled into indoctrinating children against me. Not acceptable in the slightest.

  3. The Lillian Ladele case is COMPLETELY different to that of a school teacher.

    Lillian Ladele refused to officiate at Civil Partnerships-which are totally non-reigious ceremonies-and restricted to same-sex couples.

    There are absolutely NO religious connotations to Civil Partnerships- in fact they are expressley forbidden.

    Therefore Lillian Ladele’s objections are basically that she wishes to abstain from providing a SERVICE to people- based entirely on their sexual orientation.

    It would be like denying to provide a service to black people-or jews- or catholics.

    Nothing to do with her particular religious faith at all.

    Just plain prejudice.

  4. Jock S. Trap 25 Jan 2013, 10:22am

    I do believe if they can’t say anything decent they shouldn’t say anything.

    However this is about children and whether the teachers like it or not when this bill comes into force they have to accept people get married regardless of gender. It is far better to teach about loving relationship and I suspect those children in schools where teacher do express the proper support children will flourish better into society.

    I still say a teachers job is to educate. Personal beliefs and discrimination has no place.

  5. Children only learn about “the importance of marriage ….” because Lady Young and her fellow bigots used it as a bargaining chip before agreeing to abolish Section 28. Then they reneged on the deal. So we were left with an amended Education Act but Section 28 still in place. Eventually, of course, Section 28 was repealed in 2003.

  6. bobbleobble 25 Jan 2013, 10:29am

    More nonsense about teachers being persecuted. I haven’t heard of hordes of out of work Catholic teachers in the Netherlands or any of the other 6 European states that have allowed gay couples to marry.

    Plus what the hell are teachers doing giving kids their own opinions on things. Kids are there to be taught what’s actually going on, not what Mr Smith thinks about what’s going on.

  7. Wonder what the Government would say about a teacher telling kids they didn’t approve of a particular religion. Might that not cause offence to some people in that religion?

    The solution is to stop teaching about marriage altogether.

    1. Teachers remain neutral so one’s personal opinion doesn’t come into it at school. Regarding religion, you teach what each religion believes, discuss other beliefs and that’s an end to it. You don’t give your religious views or your political views. I’ve taught for years and I’ve never found it hard to do that in a neutral and fair way, nor have I felt ‘victimised’ because I have to teach about religious views that I might not concur with. That’s part of being a teacher. Only ‘christians’ seem to have a problem with the idea.

      This whole thing is a total red herring.

      1. Well said. You must get sick and tired of having to counter people’s assumptions. I wish you’d taught me. I might have emerged less hurt from the Catholic school that I went to. Ok now I think and an avowed admirer of the modern day teacher.

  8. Yet another wooly message, cow-towing to religion. Schools are where homophobia begins – particularly religious schools. If we are EVER to wipe out homophobia, schools must NOT be allowed to teach that ‘marriage’ is between a man and a woman. ‘Marriage’ is simply a legal contract. Religion does not OWN ‘marriage’. The sooner we stop pandering to religious belief, the better. Have your belief, but keep it where it should be kept – in the home and well out of politics.

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  11. This is more desperate rubbish from the antis, trying to dig up spurious concerns about equal marriage to try to sabotage it.

    Teachers know that part of their job is to remain neutral and keep their personal opinions out of the classroom. We’re there to inform, not indoctrinate.

    I note that all these people whining about how ‘difficult’ it’ll be for teachers have never said a word about how ‘difficult’ it is for teachers having to teach about a number of different faiths, for example. Many teachers in my school would classify themselves as Christian but have no difficulty teaching about, say, Islam or Judaism. Nor do they complain that they’re ‘promoting’ those religions. Providing information is not promoting.

    What these ‘christians’ really mean is that they want to shut out other ideas and only promote their own dogma. If they can’t be neutral, they shouldn’t be teachers.

  12. Teachers may not be forced to ‘promote’ same sex marriage but they must not discriminate, but we all know that they will.

    As far as I am concerned, there should be no space for faith school. They will continue to teach bigotry and intolerance.

  13. The persisting problem here is encapsulated in the concept on heteronormativity. We can be damaged as much, if not more, by the subliminal message that we’re fundamentally flawed just because we’re not the same as most people. The law, once entrenched in public consciousness, does go some way towards ameliorating the effects of that and so does humane sensitivity. I think that teachers appreciate that and those who don’t can be challenged just as any who opposed a mixed race marriage would be. I sure hope so.

  14. They’re much more likely to be censored, punished or sacked for telling student that they DO support marriage equality! Are those teachers going to be protected?

  15. Iris’s assertion that teachers remain neutral is obviously mistaken. There are of course teachers like Iris who are committed to fairness but not all are like this. Five years ago one of my Godchildren told me that during a class on law the teacher had asked if anyone had been to a CP ceremony. When my Godson said he had (it was mine) the teacher said it would have made her sick. She was a Christian, of course. The school was Tetherdown in Muswell Hill, a very progressive and well thought of school in a wealthy area. I write to the Head but only after I threatened him with the Press did he agree to see me. The teacher was disciplined but not fired.

    1. That’s disgusting, Cal – and a clear breach of professional standards. I’m glad the teacher was disciplined eventually. There are bad teachers (ie incompetent) and teachers who don’t follow professional standards, but I’d hope they were a tiny minority.

      I really, really don’t get teachers who feel compelled to say something like you described above. All I can think is that they either don’t have any self-control or just want to be spiteful. The “sick” comment suggests the latter – unless she was very inexperienced and opened her mouth without thinking.

      Well done for writing to the Head. I hope the teacher in question learnt from this.

  16. So she wants teachers to have the right to tell pupils that homophobia is ok?

    Would teachers be allowed to tell kids that interracial marriage is wrong? Or marriages of different religious groups?

  17. Teachers are state employees and therefore are bound by the ECtHR. Sorry teachers your not allowed to discriminate in your teachings.

  18. Robert in S. Kensington 25 Jan 2013, 4:37pm

    The French state school system has a better solution. No religious instruction is allowed under the law. If parents want their children to have such lessons, they have to go to their local church or send them to private catholic schools. Problem solved.

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