October 19, 2003

Kids Say the Darndest Things

A lesbian teacher has sued her former school and the county council because of discrimination due to sexual orientation. You might think this comes as no surprise. Was she denied a promotion? Was she shunned by other teachers? No, she was taunted by pupils. She is suing for loss of earnings, pension rights and, of course, hurt feelings. £215,000 worth.

Somehow using health and safety law, she is claiming that the school failed to protect her from taunts by 11- to 16-year-olds who called her “lezzie” and “dyke” after they found out she had been visiting a lesbian club. I have to wonder how her pupils found out. If she was visiting such a club in Portsmouth, where her school was located and her students live, that would have been just stupid. I'm not suggesting that those pupils should have acted the way they did, but given that schools have been stripped of so much disciplinary power, I can't imagine how it could have been eliminated. However, according to the Guardian, her barrister said the suit was based upon "the grounds that the school had the power to end the abuse by the pupils but did not adequately do so and, therefore, effectively permitted it."

It has taken a while for all the hurt feelings to take their toll, because the alleged pupil campaign lasted from 1990 to 1996. Now seven years later, this case, according to the Sunday Times, "could help thousands of homosexual workers to claim compensation." Perhaps there more agenda than angst. The case was heard on appeal in the House of Lords in January.

If this case is successful, the logical legal progression will be that parents will be sued for anytime their child says anything politically incorrect to anyone.

Posted by david at October 19, 2003 09:00 PM | TrackBack

Oooops... so much for successfully teaching the kids that homosexuality is a viable alternative lifestyle.

Posted by: Havdala at October 22, 2003 08:45 PM