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Education

Headteacher apologises after school exposes kids to homophobic booklet claiming sexuality can be ‘overcome’

Patrick Kelleher December 9, 2020
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Teacher in school

The school has faced strident criticism after it handed out a book to students that propagates harmful ideas about LGBT+ identities. (Envato Elements)

A school in France is facing criticism after it allegedly made available to students a booklet promoting the harmful idea that homosexuality can be “overcome”.

The Notre-Dame de Kerbertrand high school in Quimperlé, France, has been accused of making How to Be Successful in your Love and Sexual Life by Father Jean-Benoit Casterman available to students.

The booklet, written in French and first published in 2006, propagates deeply harmful and outdated ideas about LGBT+ identities.

It claims: “Homosexuality is often the result of emotional development marked by an excessive influence of the mother during childhood or as a result of sexual child abuse by adults that induced an attraction to the same sex or a fear of the opposite sex,” according to LGBTQ Nation.

“Homosexual tendencies are therefore not wanted and do not make a person happy. That’s why homosexual people deserve our sympathy.”

The booklet goes on to tell students that they can overcome their “homosexual tendencies” and that they may just be “homo-sensitive or homophile”.

It also tells them that they should avoid acting on their feelings and that they are not “defined” by their same-sex attraction, which Casterman claims is not  “irredeemable and can be overcome”.

Elsewhere, the booklet tells students that opposite-sex relationships have “a richness that’s difficult to erase”.

Shockingly, it goes on to tell teenage girls that their “provocative look and ‘hot’ clothes” can “invite sexual advances” from men.

“You’ll look like a frivolous and available girl,” Casterman writes, telling teenager girls to avoid wearing miniskirts, low-cut pants, thongs, and other garments.

“If someone tries to pick you up, it’s your problem.”

Another school in France gave the homophobic booklet to students in 2017.

The controversy was first reported by French LGBT+ website Komitid.fr after images of the booklet were shared on social media.

According to Komitid, Ghislain de Barmon, head of the school, apologised on Facebook, writing: “Sorry for this controversy.”

PinkNews has contacted the Notre-Dame de Kerbertrand high school for comment.

This is not the first time the book has been handed out in French schools. Another Catholic school was forced to apologise in 2017 when it issued the booklet to students.

The head of Notre Dame de Sainte-Croix, a private’s school in western paris, apologised to parents in 2017 and said the booklet would no longer be provided to students.

 

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