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Peter Tatchell: Newham College seems to have ignored concerns about anti-gay lecturer Mark Walcott

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  1. Midnighter 29 Nov 2013, 3:37pm

    I read that the college proudly refers to its presence in Stonewall Workplace Equality Index Top 100 as the only FE College in that list. Apparently Stonewall also knew about this.

    It seems that Mr Tatchell was not the only person appparently fobbed off by the College on this matter, and the fact that this was so unilaterally swept under the rug suggests that there are some serious issues at the highest level of authority in this organisation.

    I hope Stonewall make representations to assist the College put matters right, but that they also review their own vetting procedures for membership of their Index since this incident rather makes a mockery of it to my mind.

    1. As long as the cheque didn’t bounce, I doubt Stonewall care.

      1. I told STONEWALL much before the video came out but knew of it’s existence because someone from the previous department told me that it had been handed in over a year ago as evidence but miraculously went missing?!! They were there when it was being recorded!
        I left this term, as did my colleagues who had all just taken over the department, because of Mr Walcotts disturbing,behaviour toward s most the staff, as our lovely boss and our line manager resigned for ethical reasons as they could no longer work in a place where such bigotry still goes on for we felt that we could do more to change this by leaving. I listed many different issues regarding Newham College and many of those in charge, including the fact that two of my colleagues, who had done nothing wrong, were frog marched out of the college by Mark and 2 burly Security Men, in front of their students! Shame on Stonewall as well as all those in the know at Newham who enabled a vile man to vomit such awful homophobic comments!

  2. colin hutchinson 29 Nov 2013, 4:12pm

    Mark Walcotts poisonous rant included homophobic views on employing gay teachers. The whole incident made me feel cold listening to it and the way in which his audience complied with him rather than stopping him speak. This should have been acted on. What was Newham College thinking about. Just sad!

  3. ” … Dr Mark Walcott, head of performing arts at Newham College and a part-time psychotherapist …” Yet another reason why this area of mental health should be properly regulated – whatever the cost (which was parliament’s recent excuse for not doing so).

  4. Kelvin Beer-Jones 29 Nov 2013, 4:16pm

    a few years back I worked for a city firm and we had a gay network. We kept in touch by email ‘blind copied’ so that group members could not be identified by the other managers / staff, and we met in secret in city pubs, away from the office. Members were terrified that managers might find out that they were gay. Nevertheless the firm was delighted to display a Stonewall award on its website.

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  6. Charlotte Cox 30 Nov 2013, 6:43pm

    Dear Mr Tatchel, great article, but I must interject.
    A new Performing Arts Department was formed this September due to the last department being ‘invited’ so to speak, to leave.
    I was one of the new recruits and loved the job dearly.
    After only a few weeks, having already raised the standards, we were told by Mr Walcott, (as far as I know, he is not a Doctor) that he wanted to take over our department and would decide what to put on, as he had his own scripts and would Direct the shows! He is not to my knowledge a Qualified Teacher, we answered only to our lovely boss and not to him nor (apparently) his girlfriend, the Head.
    Our boss together with the line manager decided that they would have to resign for ethical reasons. We followed suit in respect of their decision and our own experience of being bullied by him. I wrote to Stonewall about the missing video (kept for over a year!) and they refused to do anything about it, weeks before the tape magically appeared!

    1. Charlotte, Stonewall’s inaction in this matter is troubling and raises questions about its ability to fulfil its mission.

      I hope you will provide further details of exactly what you told Stonewall and what they told you, so that PN readers can get a better sense of what exactly happened.

      The concern is that Stonewall is perceived by some to care more about its lucrative “Diversity Champions” scheme than about protecting the rights of LGB people. If there is any sign of inadequacy in Stonewall’s response, the community should demand answers.

  7. I notice that the BBC is completely quiet about this story. Why?

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