Christian teacher suspended for complaining over gay rights presentation
A Christian teacher was suspended from his post after complaining that a training day was being used to “promote” gay rights.
History teacher Kwabena Peat, 54, was one of several staff who walked out of the seminar at Park View Academy in North London.
The presentation was given by Sue Sanders of Schools Out, which campaigns against homophobia in education.
Mr Peat claimed that Ms Sanders had said questioned whether heterosexuality was normal.
In a letter to the staff members who organised the talk, he said that Ms Sanders’ presentation had been “aggressive” and, citing the Bible, claimed that gay people “risked God’s wrath”.
The staff addressed in the letter then complained to the school’s principal saying they felt “harassed and intimidated”.
The row happened in January, when the school held an In-Service Education and Training day, in which staff were required to attend a talk on child protection issues.
Mr Peat has now been placed on paid leave. He is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.
He said last night: “I am very disappointed, although not shocked. I am the one who has been harassed and intimidated – for expressing my religious views.
“She started promoting homosexual lifestyles and suggesting those who had objections should sort out their prejudices. She said, ‘What makes you all think that to be heterosexual is natural?’ It was at that point that I walked out.”
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Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk, Ms Sanders said of her comment: “Taken out of context, it looks very stark.
She said she explains to her audience the heteronormative model.
“It’s quite complex but enables people to question what is normal.
“They [the school] are to be congratulated for recognising teachers are woefully undertrained in equality and diversity. It is an outrage.
“We would like to see the DCSS and the Equalities Commission be clear that what schools are doing in promoting equality and diversity is absolutely legal and teachers need to be given more support.
“It is crucial to get the message across that they can tackle these issues and that they have a duty to do so. We would like to see the government introduce compulsory training for this.”