Search This Blog

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Teachers should not promote equality, say nutters

A group called Christian Concern for Our Nation (CCFON) is getting uppity about the fact that teachers have to promote equality and diversity.

This group of religiously conservative lunatics actually believes that promoting diversity means promoting homosexuality and religions other than Christianity.

It’s issued an “action alert” (I’m signed up to the group’s email alerts, although it’s probably not aware that I’m a spy!), headed “Teacher’s Code Threatens Freedom of Religion: General Teaching Council for England Survey on the draft Code of Conduct and Practice”.

It expresses the group’s concern about a new draft code of conduct from the General Teaching Council for England (published as long ago as last November; perhaps the group has only just noticed it). Under the code, teachers are required to sign a clause saying that they will adhere to it before they can be registered, and the code is used as a standard to judge them by.

Then we get to the nitty-gritty.

It is of concern that the Code requires teachers to “promote equality and diversity in all their professional relationships” in Principle 4. This implies that teachers will be required to promote other religions and/or sexual practices outside marriage and it could lead to censorship. We believe that teachers should be required to respect pupils, parents and colleagues from other backgrounds, but should not be required to promote other religions and sexual orientations such as homosexuality that are contrary to their beliefs. The ordinary meanings of the words “equality” and “diversity” should not cause a problem, but recent cases have shown how these terms have been interpreted to require promotion of values contrary to Christian beliefs. For example, a nurse, Caroline Petrie, was suspended for offering to pray for a patient and a registrar, Lillian Ladele, was dismissed for refusing to carry out civil partnership ceremonies. It is important to respond to this survey because as a result of this draft Code, Christian teachers could face disciplinary action or even dismissal for practising their faith.

Since when was promoting equality and diversity promoting homosexuality? You can’t promote homosexuality in the sense of making someone want to be a homosexual. The Tory government of the 1980s was under the illusion that you could do that when it introduced the infamous and fatuous Section 28 (of the Local Government Act), which outlawed “promotion” of homosexuality, as if it were a new breakfast cereal.

Religion, of course, can be promoted, and I agree that religions other than Christianity should not be promoted. I also think that Christianity should not be promoted, either. No religion should be promoted. Religions should be learned about in schools as an academic discipline, but they shouldn’t be promoted, although they are, of course, whenever there are prayers in assembly or fairytale nonsense from the Bible or Koran is presented as fact.

CCFON helpfully provides the link to the survey, so you can go and add your opinions. Unfortunately, it closes on Friday. Much of it asks whether you agree or disagree with this or that part of the code, but you do get a chance to add some opinions in text boxes. And you are not asked for your name.

Among the points this silly organisation puts are these:

* All teachers need to be registered, so this means that Christian teachers, who have to agree to abide by the Code, will be signing up for an equality and diversity agenda that is contrary to their core beliefs.

* A teacher’s job is to teach, it is not to be an equality and diversity officer.

A teacher’s job is to teach, and not to be a religious proselytiser by pushing “their core beliefs”.

Being nice to people is clearly not part of your brand of Christianity.

You make me sick.

No comments: