Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stop Children from Using 'Gay' to Mean Bad, Teachers Told

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Stop Children from Using 'Gay' to Mean Bad, Teachers Told

Article excerpt

Byline: Anna Davis Education Correspondent

CHILDREN should be corrected every time they use the word "gay" in a negative way, teachers heard today.

Pupils now commonly use the word as a synonym for "bad" or "rubbish" without thinking about how offensive this is, according to religious education teacher David Kinnen.

"The word 'gay' is tolerated where racist words would not be," he told a fringe meeting at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers' conference in Liverpool. "I have heard it said in schools that they can't deal with it as they are already dealing with racism."

The teacher from Coventry added: "If someone says something is 'gay' in my lesson, I will ask the student what is happy or homosexual about the thing they are talking about. It makes them think about the use of the word."

Mr Kinnen said many teachers are still too scared to be open about their sexuality, even in schools where there are other openly gay staff. …

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