What the governors say about Section 28

28th January 2000 at 00:00
PLANS to repeal Section 28, the law banning councils from "promoting" homosexuality have provoked a storm of protest, led by the Scottish Catholic Church.Karen Thornton and Maureen McTaggart found out what governors - who are responsible for policy on sex education - have to say about it...

Sandra Tomlinson, a governor at High Storrs secondary in Sheffield:

"Personally, and as a governor, I would be very sad if Section 28 were not repealed. I'm horrified by the things I hear from the Church in Scotland. We should not be saying there is only one way you can live. We seem to accept gays in some walks of life, yet we can't talk to young people about it honestly. I think schools and school governing bodies are bigger than that. We shouldn't be afraid."

Judith Bennett, secretary of Oxfordshire governors' association and a former teacher:

"I think people are worrying unnecessarily about it. Professional teachers will do the right thing. If there are kids in eed of support, what anybody ought to do is give them that help and understanding. It doesn't mean we're saying, 'it's great to be gay'."

David Penwarden, a governor at St Augustine of Canterbury upper school in Oxford, a joint Anglican and Catholic school:

"Children are aware of homosexuality and other forms of sexuality. It needs to be discussed, although to me it is much less significant than a married relationship, and should be put in that context."

Alison Farnell, governor at the Harris CE school and St Matthew Bloxam primary in Rugby and former chair of Warwickshire Governors' Association.

"Sex education in both primary and secondary school will be determined by the new framework of personal, social and health education and, as I understand, there is a strong emphasis on family life and marriage. My feeling is that governors understand that secondary pupils need to understand about homosexuality, but that doesn't mean 'promoting it'."

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