Rob Campbell No time to promote gayness
Shame on those schools that have been caught keeping alive the spirit of the "Section 28" ban on promoting homosexuality. The ban, a nasty little 1980s left-over which was itself banned back in 2003 as a bit of nonsense, solved no real problem at all but instead fuelled fear and suspicion.
A residual taste of it has been found in the policies of some schools across the country, including one each in Bristol and Swindon, after an investigation by the Humanist Association.
What on earth was going on in the minds of those running these schools? I know a few teachers, and around now they are planning for the new term. This means working out how – with about 25 teaching hours per week – their pupils can possibly be taught enough to attempt the dozen GCSEs that is nowadays the norm in many schools.
The rest of the time, they are filling in forms to feed the league table culture that turns every child, teacher and school into a number-crunched unit of education rather than partners in a great adventure.
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They don't, they really don't, have any time left over to sneak into a classroom and promote gayness. Not even the gay ones do it. The only bit of promoting they might do is in, say, a humanities class when they're studying some grim repressive regime and suggest that students ponder the benefits of living in a tolerant society where it's OK to be different.
That, of course, assumes their school doesn't have a policy saying otherwise.
Our national obsession with people's nether regions and what they do with them continues, with MP Ben Bradshaw feeling obliged to let the House of Commons know that a gay couple were asked not to worship at an Exeter church.
Good for him for raising the matter. But it remains a shame that expensive parliamentary time has to be used to do so, or that churches waste a moment on discussing it when there's praying to be done and really troubled souls (not just gay ones) to be saved.
Unlike them I don't claim to have a direct line to the man upstairs. But if he really did make everything (even skateboarding squirrels) then he must be some kind of senior executive type.
He invented blue sky thinking for Christ's sake (though I suppose he wouldn't use that term). If asked his views on what goes on between the sheets, he'd yawn and ask if we could get back onto the interesting stuff such as love, hope, death, immortality.