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Discrimination against gay teachers

Discussion in 'Personal' started by davidmarley, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. davidmarley

    davidmarley Staff Member

    Hi all
    I'm a reporter at the TES and am writing a story about discrimination suffered by gay teachers and why there are so few openly gay school leaders. I recognise this is a sensitive topic, but I would be very interested in speaking to any teacher who is gay but is not out at school. I want to discuss what is stopping teachers being out at school, be it fear of homophobia from pupils, other staff, parents etc, or any other concerns. This is for a long piece that is looking at the issue in some depth. I can guarantee complete anonymity.
    If anyone would feel comfortable talking to me about the issue, I can be contacted on 0203 194 3229 or via email at david.marley@tes.co.uk
    Thanks very much,
    David
     
  2. davidmarley

    davidmarley Staff Member

    Hi all
    I'm a reporter at the TES and am writing a story about discrimination suffered by gay teachers and why there are so few openly gay school leaders. I recognise this is a sensitive topic, but I would be very interested in speaking to any teacher who is gay but is not out at school. I want to discuss what is stopping teachers being out at school, be it fear of homophobia from pupils, other staff, parents etc, or any other concerns. This is for a long piece that is looking at the issue in some depth. I can guarantee complete anonymity.
    If anyone would feel comfortable talking to me about the issue, I can be contacted on 0203 194 3229 or via email at david.marley@tes.co.uk
    Thanks very much,
    David
     
  3. What has a teacher's (or any other professional person's) sexuality got to do with their ability to do the job?
     
  4. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Nothing.
     
  5. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    FWIW I've known and worked with many gay teachers. None of them have been openly 'out' but all are known to be gay. They aren't 'out' because they do not consider it an essential part of their job to make an open statement about their sexuality. However, niether to they hide it. They are just themselves and no big deal is made of it. I've not known and prejudice towards them either becasue of their sexuality, but I have seen staff, gay and straight, being bullied out of a job and having their lives made miserable for petty reasons.
    Incidentally, I have worked in a school where 2 of SMT were gay (females) and although not wearing a badge to say so, everyone (staff and students) knew of it. I suggest there are gay school leaders but they have better things to do than announce their sexuality to all and sundry.
     
  6. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Further to this, I have also worked with a number of gay teachers, over a thirty-year career. I do not once recall this ever being an issue, for the reasons Belle has indicated, above. A teacher's sexuality has nothing to do with his/her ability to do the job and I have never known it to even be discussed in any school in which I have worked.
    If you really want to get your teeth round an issue in teaching, you would do better to look at the Workplace Dilemma forum and note the high incidence of workplace bullying in teaching. Teachers of all backgrounds some, though not most of whom have protected characteristics in discrimination law, are experiencing career and health-destroying bullying by weak leaders keen to prouect their inadequacies onto someone else. Teaching unions are unwilling or unable to provide their members with appropriate support to ensure it is effectively challenged. Until Mr Gove's recent timely intervention, even the professional regulator (the GTC(E)) could be persuaded by powerful employers to quietly drop complaints of bullying made directly to it.
    Now THERE is a story - a massive one. Are you willing to go wherever your investigations lead you?
     
  7. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Absolutely agree with this.
     
  8. guinnesspuss

    guinnesspuss Star commenter

    Me too!
    I keep wondering why, considering the number of posters on here, nobody at TES has taken it up as an issue.
     
  9. davidmarley

    davidmarley Staff Member

    That's very helpful, thanks.
    I was actually hoping to speak to someone who personally felt that the culture at their school made it difficult for them to be open about themselves. For the record, I'm not saying that people should come out at school - that's obviously not my business. We are looking at why people who might want to be open about their sexuality feel unable to because of a culture at school or other fears. But the HoD you mention definitely worth trying to contact for another view.
     
  10. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Surely not the 'Case of the Black Ring' all over again?
     
  11. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I am so tempted but would probably get banned[​IMG]
     
  12. Vampyria

    Vampyria New commenter

    And me! Particularily since it's a cause of such obvious anguish.
     
  13. Vampyria

    Vampyria New commenter

    And me!
    (Ignore the other isolated post above. Tried to edit to include the quote but new version didn't post! )
     
  14. If the OP is a TES journo, why don't they have a nice piccy like Mike Shaw et al?
    Not that I'm a suspicious type...

    cyolba, couldn't give a flying fuck what holes people want to stick their bits in :)
     
  15. That must make you a popular fellow.
     
  16. I'll get back to you once I've dealt with this evening's hareem appointments, mickey.
    cyolba, who likes quoting Captain Oates :)
     
  17. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    There's a big difference. People who, through lack of inclination, lead sexually inactive lives are in a very different position from those whose sexuality might cause hostility if openly acknowledged. In an ideal world it wouldn't matter, but the reality is often different.
    That it doesn't matter in some schools doesn't mean that it's not difficult for teachers in others.
     
  18. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    And I'm not talking about going on about one's sexuality. I just mean ordinary things such as the [at very least] trouble of being spotted walking hand-in-hand down the street with your same-sex lover.
     
  19. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Or having to be very cautious to the point of lying when asked about one's social life or living arrangements - and people do ask, in all innocence. it doesn't mean that gay staff feel able confidently to talk about who they live with, go out with, go on holiday with, without pretending it's just 'friends'.
     
  20. Yup...I believe that's where the discussion ends really.
    It's up to individuals (of any sexual persuasion) to take up arms and fight against discrimination of any sort. There are laws against discrimination and most professionals are fully aware of them.
    Teachers would, imo be commiting career suicide in seeing their schools as the soapbox upon which they tell all and sundry about their sexuality and private lives. It really is of no consequence.
    The advice which tends to be given to ANYONE feeling hounded in school is to log conversations/actions and if necessary seek union assistance.
    Am I alone in thinking the TES journalist is trying to open a can of worms for some strange purpose?
     

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