Current Affairs

Jewish group to offer ‘gay cure’ controversy school teaching packs

Stephen Gray February 1, 2012
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The UK’s LGBT Jewish forum has said it will offer teaching support packs to the state-funded Jewish school which became embroiled in controversy this month after showing students a slide with the logo of a ‘gay cure’ group.

Keshet UK’s Co-convenor Dave Shaw, who is a former pupil of the school in question, said the group welcomed the school’s internal review of how it deals with discussions on homosexuality, but was disappointed it had declined to meet with a group of school alumni who identify as LGBT.

In an article in the Jewish Chronicle last month, students said a sixth-form discussion on homosexuality at JFS which ended with a slide displaying the logo of ‘gay cure’ group JONAH implied it was something they could explore if they thought they might be gay.

The school’s headmaster Jonathan Miller said the material in lesson discussing homosexuality had been taught for years, and told it was “false” to suggest references to JONAH in that lesson were designed to promote the group.

The Jewish Chronicle said at the weekend it had never suggested the school “promoted” JONAH but questioned why the anti-gay group was ever mentioned.

To mark LGBT History Month, Keshet UK said today it would be delivering teacher’s packs for every teacher at the school to equip them in their handling of homosexuality.

Dave Shaw, Co-Convenor of Keshet UK and an ex-JFS pupil, said: “We are pleased to hear from the headteacher that the school is currently conducting a review of the school’s approach to the topic of homosexuality.

“We firmly believe that as a state-funded school, JFS, like all Jewish schools, must be able to demonstrate that it meets its statutory obligation to be proactive in preventing bullying on the basis of sexuality and create an environment where all students feel included.”

A representative of the school could not be reached for comment today.

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