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Straight teacher makes claim for homophobic abuse

Nell Frizzell June 18, 2009
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A straight teacher has told an employment tribunal that he suffered homophobic taunts from pupils who called him “perv”, “gay”, “poof”, and “weirdo”.

James Campbell, who took early retirement in 2007 from his job as an art teacher at Denny High School in Scotland, claimed that the homophobic insults he received amount to sexual discrimination, the Scottish Daily Mail reports.

“Somebody has called me all these names,” Campbell told the tribunal in Glasgow. “I think it is just and equitable that the case is heard. It is still affecting me. When I see kids nowadays, I hate them because I expect the same thing as what happened to me at school.”

Campbell, who is married and described himself as “far from gay”, had brought a previous disability claim to tribunal after arguing that jibes about his baldness had forced him to take early retirement. This case was lost on the grounds that baldness did not constitute a disability.

“At one stage they’d call me baldy. At another stage they’d call me poof,” argued Campbell. “It shouldn’t have happened. Nobody should have called me all these things. Surely there should be some retribution for this.”

According to the 2003 Sexual Orientation Regulations, sexual discrimination is defined as when “a person subjects another person to harassment, on grounds of sexual orientation, which has the purpose or effect of violating [their] dignity; or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.”

The case is being brought against Campbell’s employers, Falkirk Council, who have said that his current claim is time-barred and that a judgment will be issued at a later date.

Related topics: Scotland

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