Nobody wishes to see the promotion of a particular lifestyle, moral view, political view or religious view. Teachers have to teach children who are growing up in a very diverse culture. It is totally different from my childhood, when there was not a diverse culture in most communities. Most diversity was hidden.
I would like to relate the story of a superb head teacher in a Lancashire church school, who came to me at the time of the introduction of Section 28. [...]
She asked the children to draw a picture of their Christmas Day morning. She said to me, ‘Josie, one little girl drew a picture of herself in bed with two women.’ She said to the little girl, ‘Who are they?’, and the little girl said, ‘My two mummies. I don’t have a daddy, I have two mummies.’
The head teacher said to me that her professional job, given all her views and her devout Christian belief, was to support the family in which this child lived and ensure the child was never in any way victimized for the circumstances of her family life. So she had to explain to other children, “Some people live like this”. [...]
A long way back I was accused by a then Member of Parliament in Lancashire of presiding over a situation in which teachers were indoctrinating children into supporting a particular view… I never actually got proof of the indoctrination, but I had wholehearted support across the political groups on Lancashire Country Council for ensuring that teachers were able to teach children to grow up in the real world that they lived in.
I may not like particular aspects of life. I am not awfully fond of rap, but that it is an age thing, not an artistic judgment.
We have to stop preventing teachers teaching children about the world in which they are growing up. Teachers should not endorse views or indoctrinate children but recognize that the world is real and it is out there.”
— Josephine Farrington, the Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton, addressing the House of Lords in response to her conservative peer Lord Dear, who had warned that teachers will be forced to “promote” gay marriage if it becomes legal (via Gay Star News).