Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Muddled Thinking.

I gather the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, has warned schools to watch pupils who exhibit homophobic tendencies. She says it indicates that they are the ones most likely to be radicalised. I assume this only applies to Asian pupils, since they’re the ones most likely to be exposed to extremist Muslim ideology which is currently the source of radicalisation. It follows that her instruction doesn’t apply to pupils from fundamentalist Christian backgrounds, Jewish backgrounds, Rasta backgrounds and so on. (All these religious traditions preach objection to the homosexual act on moral and/or ideological grounds.)

So here’s a point for discussion: does this amount to a form of institutionalised racism? (And there’s a good argument for claiming that the term ‘homophobic’ is semantically inappropriate when referring to people whose objection is based on moral and/or ideological grounds, but it’s a bit late in the day to be writing that one.)

The government, in the guise of Nicky Morgan, has also placed a legal requirement on schools to ‘prevent people being drawn into terrorism.’ Note the term ‘legal requirement.’ It’s now on the statute book; it’s called the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act. So does this mean that if a school (and schools are made up of teachers) fails to spot a pupil being drawn into terrorism, or fails to prevent it, it is guilty of a criminal act with all the sanctions thus implied? If not, why enshrine it in statute?

It’s hardly surprising that the National Union of Teachers is up in arms, pointing out that teachers are already ‘suffering nervousness and confusion’ and this will make matters worse. My own feeling is that Nicky Morgan is the one suffering confusion.

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