Primary teacher job threat over gay marriage storybook
Fri, 8 Mar 2013
A primary school teacher faced disciplinary action because she didn’t want to read to her class from a storybook about gay penguins.
The teacher, who has not been named, works in a school in a London Borough and her case has been told to a committee of MPs looking at the gay marriage Bill.
Another teacher, from Scotland, says he was pressurised to promote gay marriage against his will and it contributed to a breakdown.
The two teachers have remained anonymous because they fear for their careers, but have permitted a lawyer to outline their cases to Parliament.
The teacher from London, referred to as “Mrs A”, began reading a book called “And Tango Makes Three” to her primary school class.
When she realised the book was advocating gay marriage, she stopped reading it.
She is a Christian and she told the class that there are different views about that issue in society.
But the school’s head teacher said Mrs A had broken the law, and she would not be allowed to have her own class in the new school year.
Another teacher, referred to as “Mr X” in the evidence given to MPs, teaches in a secondary school in Scotland.
He was prepared to teach about marriage and sexuality in a balanced and objective way, but could not in all conscience say gay marriage was the same as straight marriage.
But the head of department was angered by Mr X’s stance, and the head teacher said Mr X must toe the line and keep his views to himself.
Mr X said this contributed to “a breakdown and being signed off work for several months with stress”.
Top lawyers have warned the Government that its plans to redefine marriage could mean Christian teachers face the sack if they refuse to endorse gay marriage in the classroom.
In January, a senior source in the Education Department admitted that the Government may be powerless to stop this happening.
And a poll of teachers in February revealed that most (56%) believe a teacher would damage their career if they voice support for traditional marriage.