Pupils stand up for gay teacher

6th December 2002 at 00:00
EVERY gay teacher considering coming out must dread the sort of experience Kevin Parker went through last week. However, the 45-year-old believes the incident proves that he was right to be open about his sexuality.

As he walked down a school corridor, a 13-year-old shouted out: "I hate you, you fucking queer".

But pupils who witnessed the abuse were "amazing", and told the boy he was "completely out of order", said Mr Parker.

"It was so heartening. That's what we are aiming for, to get pupils to decide for themselves what is acceptable," said Mr Parker.

Mr Parker, who teaches deaf pupils at College high school, a 1,000-pupil comprehensive serving three tough Birmingham council estates, came out to his pupils the day he started at the school four years ago.

He said he had been regularly verbally abused in his first year, but this was now rare partly thanks to the "100 per cent" support he got from colleagues.

He added: "When people start to recognise us as human beings, that's when we know we are making progress."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today