A school governing body apologised, unreservedly, on Tuesday for the homophobic comments made by a head teacher which forced a young gay teacher to resign from his job at an inner city school in London.

The newly qualified teacher – and a member of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and identified only as “David” – complained to an employment tribunal that he had been discriminated against and harassed in breach of the Uk’s Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003.

Proceedings were halted with an offer of compensation and an apology from the school.

This is the first time that the NUT has succeeded in extracting an apology and compensation from a school for sexual orientation discrimination against a teacher.

In his first term at the school in 2006, the teacher said that his head teacher had told him to stop “banging on” about gay issues when he dealt with homophobic issues in the classroom and told him that he wasn’t “the only one in the village”.

The teacher complained that his head teacher had stated that “there was no homophobia at the school until you came,” that he inflamed older students by the way he walked in the corridors that he “did not walk that way at interview” and referred to him as “Gay Dave”.

She later denied that she had made such comments.

“All I wanted was an apology and recognition that the comments made by my head teacher were homophobic and that the treatment I received at the hands of my head teacher was against the law,” said David.

“It took over a year to get where I am today.”

Steve Sinnott General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers said that this case should never have reached tribunal.

“David’s employer should have recognised immediately that the head teacher’s comments were humiliating, offensive and amounted to unlawful harassment.

“Employers have a duty to prevent harassment and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) indeed all teachers,” Mr. Sinnott continued.

“The school failed our member and was forced to apologise for failing to intervene to prevent the head teacher from ‘exacerbating the offence’ caused by the comments.

“This needs to be a lesson to schools that we will not tolerate homophobic harassment of teachers.”

UK Gay News

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