An education campaigner has been called a ‘dinosaur’ for saying LGBTI teachers should keep their private lives hidden from students.
In an interview on Good Morning Britain, Katie Ivens, chair of Campaign for Real Education, said a teacher’s job is no other than making their pupils ‘knowledgeable people’.
Her view is similar to section 28, which banned teachers to discuss their sexuality in class. The 1988 amendment to the law stated a local authority shouldn’t ‘promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship’.
Earlier this year, the UK government said they were going to commit to teaching students about LGBTI issues, such as gender identity and same-sex marriage.
Two Brighton teachers came out as gay
She also added they should keep their sexuality hidden and do not discuss their private relationships in class.
Ivens appeared on Good Morning Britain, a UK morning talk show, on 2 August together with two gay teachers from Brighton, Pam Stallard and Luke Burgess.
Stallard and Burgess came out as gay to their students at Longhill High School during an assembly against homophobia.
Ivens then said that education should ‘focus on the knowledge that children actually should have’.
‘That’s where the focus should be, it’s not be all over the place taking up fashionable issues,’ she also said.
Stallard hit back, highlighting the importance of explaining why LGBTI-hate is wrong to students.
‘She is an actual a dinosaur‘
The education campaigner immediately faced the backlash from viewers.
Social media users took to Twitter to express their support to LGBTI teachers.
‘This woman on #GMB is everything that is wrong with education. She is an actual dinosaur,’ one tweet reads.
‘I wish when I was [in] school I’d had an openly gay teacher to look up to,’ another user wrote.
‘This might have saved me years of depression,’ they also added.
Teachers come out as gay in a whole school assembly
Pam Stallard and Luke Burgess stood in front of their students at Longhill High School last month and opened up about being gay.
In the middle of a talk about bullying, homophobia and using the word ‘gay’ as a slur, Burgess referred to himself as a ‘gay man’ and Stallard as a ‘gay woman.’
Stallard then revealed: ‘I first came out when I was 14. I had to come out to my mom twice – five years apart – because the first time it just wasn’t happening.
‘I’ve come out to someone or another every day since then.
‘Sometimes it’s great,’ Stallard said. ‘Sometimes people are super positive… sometimes it’s pretty awkward.
‘And sometimes I’m forced out because I hear somebody using homophobic language and tell them I’m offended by that because I’m gay and because what you’ve just said has upset me.
‘A lot of the time, coming out isn’t by choice,’ she added.
The gay teachers say they’re ‘determined’ to teach inclusion to students and said using ‘gay’ a synonym for ‘bad’ is never okay.