Teachers should support drag queen story time, says NEU
Teachers should support drag queen story time events to boost inclusivity in schools, National Education Union says
- NEU suggested story-telling events could ‘challenge heteronormative culture’
- The annual conference heard schools should set up LGBT+ spaces and clubs
Teachers should support drag queen story time events to create a ‘more inclusive atmosphere’ in schools, an education union has suggested.
More schools should be encouraged to set up LGBT+ spaces and lunch clubs for pupils, the National Education Union’s (NEU) annual conference heard.
A motion passed at the conference said initiatives, like drag queen story time, and inviting LGBT+ authors into schools can ‘help challenge the heteronormative culture and curriculum’ in education.
It comes after a far-Right protest was held outside Tate Britain in February, where a drag queen storytelling event was being held for children.
The motion called on the union’s executive to publicly support initiatives like drag queen story time, ‘to develop a more inclusive atmosphere in schools’.
The NEU suggested teachers should support drag queen story time events to create a ‘more inclusive atmosphere’ (pictured: drag storytelling event held at the Tate in February)
Protesters outside the Tate Britain in London
Delegates voted for the union to work with LGBT+ educators to create guidance on how to set up LGBT+ spaces or lunch clubs so more schools participate and the spaces become ‘usualised’ through practice.
Darren Nuttall, a teacher from Rotherham, said: ‘There are still pupils and teachers that will pick on LGBT+ students.
‘Let’s give the kids the support they deserve and the spaces they deserve.’
The motion, which was passed at the conference in Harrogate, said some schools ‘have not allowed LGBT+ authors into schools’.
Delegate Sara Hope told the conference it took her almost a decade to find an LGBT+ safe space when she was a student, adding: ‘For many of our LGBT+ students in schools right now things haven’t really changed.
‘Help protect our LGBT+ students in schools by creating more safe spaces and LGBT+ clubs.’
The motion added: ‘The Government is creating a hostile environment for trans people through the use of Section 35 to block the Scottish Gender Recognition Reform Act.
‘This has encouraged the far-right to organise further attacks on drag queen story time and has created an atmosphere where hate crime can thrive.’
A drag queen story time event was held at the Tate Britain in February with protests errupting outside the gallery
Transgender teenager Brianna Ghey, from Birchwood, Warrington, was found with fatal stab wounds on a path in Culcheth Linear Park on February 11
Shelby Millard, from Sutton, told the conference she had spoken to drag queens who run a story time session in London who said they ‘were quite sick of having to go places with police escort just so they are safe’.
She added: ‘The fact that Rishi Sunak has used Section 35 to stop the Scottish Gender Recognition Reform Act is sickening.
The teacher subsequently apologised ‘unreservedly’ for suggesting that the Prime Minister supported the murder of Brianna Ghey.
Transgender teenager Brianna Ghey, from Birchwood, Warrington, was found with fatal stab wounds on a path in Culcheth Linear Park on February 11. A boy and a girl, both aged 15, have been charged with Brianna’s murder.
After the debate on Wednesday, an NEU spokesperson said: ‘The teacher concerned unreservedly apologises for the wording in her conference speech. She apologises and withdraws the specific allegation that Rishi Sunak supported the murder of a young trans girl.
‘Many trans and non-binary teachers feel strongly that the Government is not doing enough to support them but it is essential that we always debate policy solutions in calm and measured ways.’
On the passing of the motion, Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: ‘Teachers need time and support to develop curriculum resources which are inclusive and representative, and such time for building a creative curriculum is in very short supply.
‘The Government is seriously failing to support trans people which means the creation of LGBT+ spaces and networks in schools and colleges is now more necessary.’
Source: Read Full Article