Target: UK Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove
Goal: Intervene to ensure schools in the UK stop enforcing outdated homophobic policies
Investigations have been launched in the UK to examine schools that have been identified as having homophobic sex and relationships education policies in place. These anti-gay policies reminisce of Section 28, an outdated Thatcher-era law that mandated that local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” Schools were required to adapt their activities and course materials based on these mandates.
The law, which significantly increased the rate of homophobic bullying, was strongly opposed by LGBT activists in the UK and has long since been repealed. However, it has been found that some schools still have policies that reflect Section 28 philosophies. For example, teachers at The Bridge Academy are not allowed to engage in the promotion of any sexual orientation or sexual activity. The British Humanist Association has identified 45 schools with sex and relationships education policies that either directly replicate Section 28 or are vague and unhelpful on the concepts of sexuality.
Conservative Secretary of State for Education Michael Grove has yet to respond to the findings of the BHA report, despite Labour Shadow Minister Stepher Twigg saying Grove “must intervene to ensure that all schools obey their duties under the Equality Act. It seems that some schools, perhaps not knowingly, are still using guidance from before Labour’s repeal of Section 28.”
By not providing inclusive and comprehensive information about sex and sexuality in their sex and relationship education programs, these schools are marginalizing students and fostering an environment that isn’t open or safe. Grove must intervene and work to ensure that these schools are not enforcing policies under the repealed, outdated, hate-driven Section 28. Sign the petition below to tell the UK government to fix these glaring cracks in their education system.
Dear Michael Gove,
A recent study from the British Humanist Association reveals that at least 45 schools in the UK have implemented policies reminiscent of the Thatcher-era law known as Section 28 that forbids the promotion of homosexuality by authorities. This law was repealed in Scotland in 2000 and in England and Wales in 2003 and has no place in schools today.
LGBT students are being marginalized in these schools, and they deserve access to comprehensive and inclusive sex and relationships education. Stop allowing these schools to carry on with outdated policies. I urge you to crack down on any schools exhibiting Section 28 behaviors and to fix these holes in the UK’s education system.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: R0b3rt0 via WikiMedia