They're saying I'm gay

4th February 2005 at 00:00
I'm a male NQT who has started work at a primary school in east London.

While I was training I always received lots of support and respect from pupils and their parents. I am now three months into the job and all has changed. Rumours that I am gay have been circulating around the school as I am the only male teacher here. I'm not offended (I'm happily married with two children), but the pupils in my class aren't responding to me since the rumours started. I've approached the head and he was sympathetic, but the rumours aren't going away. Please help.

A: I find this odd: you say that you're the only male teacher, yet the headteacher is a man, and there are plenty of gay primary teachers at other schools who have never had a problem. Most children don't know what being gay really is and wouldn't stop respecting you just for that. They only see you as a teacher. If the rumour of your supposed sexuality is causing a difficulty then the solution would be to bring your wife and children into conversation, even round them up for the next school function. Are you sure that the problem isn't rooted in some other reason that people aren't taken with you? Try discussing it with your induction tutor or another member of staff.

SARA BUBB

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