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Good Morning Britain guest savaged for saying gay teachers should stay in the closet

Josh Jackman August 2, 2018

Ivens was called a "dinosaur" for her comments (itv)

A guest on Good Morning Britain has sparked outrage after saying that teachers shouldn’t come out to students or teach them about homosexuality.

Katie Ivens, vice-chair of Campaign for Real Education – a right-wing pressure group which has repeatedly attempted to keep LGBT content out of schools – also called homosexuality a “fashionable issue” that shouldn’t be mentioned to students.

This position is similar to Section 28, an infamous law which banned teachers from speaking about homosexuality in schools.

Some students and community members supported Kluge (MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
Ivens said children shouldn’t be taught about homosexuality (MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty)

Earlier this year, 30 years on from Section 28’s introduction, the Government announced that schools in England will be directed to teach pupils about issues including gender identity and same-sex marriage.

Ivers lashed out at this concept, arguing with two gay teachers, Pam Stallard and Luke Burgess, on the ITV show and saying: “They are teachers and their job is to teach.

“What children need is to be given a thorough knowledge of subjects so they can become independent critical thinkers [and] knowledgeable people, and that is the job of teachers.

Ivens’ position was not popular online (itv)

“The job of the teacher isn’t to say: ‘me, me, me’ or ‘I’m that,’ whatever that may be; the job of the teacher is actually to teach and that’s what children need from the teachers.”

She added that education should “focus on the knowledge that children actually should have,” apparently leaving homosexuality out of that category.

“That’s where the focus should be, it’s not be all over the place taking up fashionable issues,” she added.

Stallard and Burgess, who teach at Brighton’s Longhill High School and held an assembly to explain to the kids why anti-gay hate was wrong, explained that homosexuality was not a ‘fashionable issue.’

Stallard hit back at Ivens, saying: “We need to be educating them to be decent people, and part of that comes to saying we don’t like homophobic language; we don’t like gay used as a pejorative.

Stallard hit back at Ivens (itv)

“And then one per cent of that assembly is saying that’s because I’m gay and because Luke is gay,” she added.

“I believe that’s teaching them something fundamental that they can’t quite get in a classroom.”

Stallard’s remarks are backed up by research released last year which showed that more than half of LGBT pupils still report hearing homophobic remarks such as ‘faggot’ or ‘lezza’ frequently or often in school.

schoolkids stonewall
More than half of LGBT pupils still report hearing homophobic remarks frequently or often in school (Stonewall)

And Ivers was slammed for her comments online, with one viewer writing: “This woman on #GMB is everything that is wrong with education. She is an actual dinosaur. ”

Another opened up, saying: “It’s so hard to talk about being gay at a young age and teachers are not just there to teach but help mold you as human beings… I wish I had honest teachers when I grew up and felt they could be honest instead of hiding themselves.”

One viewer gave an example of why it was important to come out to children and teach them about homosexuality, writing: “Heterosexual teacher: ‘I’m pregnant and Mr Jones from year 4 is the father.. yes we’re dating lol. Everyone: ‘Awww congratulations’

“Lesbian teacher: ‘I’m getting married to my girlfriend.’ Everyone: ‘Woah Woah Woah.. keep your private life to yourself.'”

Another wrote: “Well done to those teachers on @GMB for discussing this with their pupils. By discussing sexuality this is a fabulous way to begin eradicating homophobic views.”

Last year, the Campaign for Real Education’s chair Chris McGovern called plans to introduce books with transgender parents into the curriculum “indoctrination in the politically correct anxieties, passions and neuroses of adults” which would “cause upset, confusion and trauma for many youngsters.”

And earlier this year, McGovern criticised parents who called the police on their trans child’s teacher after their repeated misgendering – an illegal act – made the student suicidal.

More: Campaign for Real Education, Education, entertainment, Gay, good morning britain, ITV, Katie Ivens, school, Television, UK

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