Current Affairs

Greens call for teacher training on homophobia

PinkNews Staff Writer March 20, 2007
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The Green Party in Brighton is calling on the city’s council to improve anti-homophobia training for headteachers.

The party says that the council has a responsibility to protect LGBT education workers.

“Thanks to a EU directive, workers in the UK now enjoy protection from homophobic and transphobic discrimination and harassment,” says Nigel Tart, Chair of the Green Party LGBT group.

“Most headteachers have had no training in how to support staff experiencing harassment.

“The Equal Opportunities Commission won a recent court case, which established the employer’s duty to protect women workers from sexist and sexual harassment by customers and the public.”

Mr Tart saw this as a warning shot for schools.

“Surely it’s only a matter of time before a similar case establishes protection against homophobic and transphobic abuse from ‘customers’ – including students,” says Mr Tart.

“The council shouldn’t wait for legislation or court cases, but should act now to protect its workers.”

The Greens want Brighton education boss David Hawker to provide training.

After being approached by, Brighton and Hove Council education bosses hit back at the Greens but admitted more could be done.

“We have done a lot of good work with schools on anti-bullying issues, but we’re aware that this has focused more on children than on staff,” said a council spokesperson.

“We are already in the process of developing a new strategy on staff bullying, which will address broader welfare issues relating to LGBT staff and other minority groups.

“We will be putting this out for consultation in the coming months.”

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