UK teachers' unions demand ban on racist teachers

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Slumberjack

abnormal wrote:
So who exactly gets to decide which political parties/churches/religions/whatever are so offensive that that the simple act of joining them should be verbotten?

Well, if no one else can be bothered, I've always fancied that title...The Decider.

abnormal

Catchfire wrote:

Well, I guess, abnormal, it would be the Teachers' Union, about whom this thread is concerned.

So you're saying that an unelected group gets to decide what's offensive?

What happens when that group decides they want to ban something you like?

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

The Teachers' Union is unelected? Are you aware what any of the words in that last sentence mean? You do, of course, realize that teachers are in charge of classrooms? That's why the government is considering what the have to say about them?

abnormal

Teachers' Unions are elected by teachers.  Not the public and definitely not parents.

But I'm in charge of my office (and ultimately I answer to my Board).  So they get to decide what memberships my employees can have? 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Again, the elementary bait & switch trick. As if membership in the BNP is a membership like any other. My God! After the BNP, the Beekeepers' Club! Totaltotalitarianism!

Not to mention the equally (not-very-subtle) sneaky trick that equates whatever you do to teachers, who are the stewards for our children, during their vast formative years.

Unionist

abnormal wrote:

So who exactly gets to decide which political parties/churches/religions/whatever are so offensive that that the simple act of joining them should be verbotten?

You should check your parachute for defects before jumping into a thread.

This is about barring scumbags from teaching. Who decides? The competent authorities in each jurisdiction. Ultimately, the legislators and the courts. That's how Malcolm Ross got his nazi ass thrown out of New Brunswick classrooms, with the blessing of the Supreme Court and the United Nations.

The world isn't confused about the evils of fascism and racism. Such confusion can only be found in the posts of some babblers.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Well, as a point of information, in Britain, the absence of a constitution, an equivalent to Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, or, indeed, at least until October, a Supreme Court, means these questions would be 'ultimately' answered by the legislature (which is why the Minister is considering the potent voice of the teachers' union).

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

I think the ultimate goal of anti-racist activism in education is the creation of school systems that operate within an anti-opression framework. To that end, I support terminating the contracts of teachers who divulge, intnetionally or unintentionally, membership in the BNP. For Children of colour, just knowing that their teacher is a member of the BNP (or that there is even a member of the BNP on staff at their school) could be enough to make them terrified of going to school. However, I oppose any applicant for teacher (or any job for that matter) being required to divulge membership in any legal political party as part of the application process. I also oppose giving any employer the right to access membership records of any political party, in order to find out whether job applicants are members of a given political party.

Freedom to keep membership in a legal political party from a prospective employer is a funamental human right, IHMO.

It's not yet clear whether the NASUWT Teacher's Union wants to introduce the ban in such a way that will proect the above freedom (in which case some BNP members may still be able to teach), or whether it wants to violate the above right in order to ensure that no BNP members are able to teach in British schools.

All the above being said, if the British school system (o any other school system) were to actually operate within an anti-opression framework, no teacher racist enough to join a party like the BNP would be able to go very long without crossing the line and being dismissed for discriminatory behaviour. There is simply no way that a member of the BNP could survive very long in any environment committed to anti-opression politics. At the end of the day, it is by creating as much anti-opression space as possible in our society, that we will be able to defeat the fascist racism of parties like the BNP.

Unionist

I agree, Left Turn. You've introduced a vital nuance which was missing in my posts. I was referring only to individuals that publicly self-identify as being connected with BNP-level fascism and racism. People's private views and affiliations are their own business, as long as they truly keep them private. It's the public association which poisons the school environment, and that was the basis of the Supreme Court decision. But no one should be forced to "go public".

 

Le T Le T's picture

I would seriously encourage some people in this thread to educate themselves about the BNP - as Catchfire mentioned, this is a Nazi party that (like the Nazis and other facists) uses violence and intimidation frequently. If they were brown folks they would be called terrorists but they're white and English so they're called a political party.

While I do not support facists in the classroom I think that as Canadians we need to understand that the Libs, Reforma-Tories and NDP have enacted facist policies directed at Indigenous Peoples, immigrants and refugees. The curriculum in our schools is also blatantly genocidal in the way that it teachs (and doesn't teach) the history of Turtle Island.

Le T Le T's picture

Quote:
It's the public association which poisons the school environment, and that was the basis of the Supreme Court decision. But no one should be forced to "go public".

 

I think that it is this point that takes the steam out of some people's "thought Police" argument.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
I would seriously encourage some people in this thread to educate themselves about the BNP - as Catchfire mentioned, this is a Nazi party that (like the Nazis and other facists) uses violence and intimidation frequently.

 

I did some reading up, and they certainly don't sound progressive, but they're also duly elected representatives in the European Parliament and in a couple of municipalities as well.

 

What's the usual response to those who say that Hamas, and some of their decidedly non-progressive policies, are just too odious to deal with? "They're the duly elected government of Palestine". Evidently then, being duly elected is like some kind of moral car wash. Do what you want, if the people endorse you, or something like that.

 

So I'm certainly not arguing against this because I think that the BNP are swell blokes, or because I want teachers spouting hate in the classroom... but there's still something wrong with penalizing citizens for belonging to a political party. If the party really is nothing but hate, it should be criminalized. This is just an end run on that. Lacking the courage to shut down the party, let's just make sure its members can't find work.

Ze

Left Turn wrote:

I think the ultimate goal of anti-racist activism in education is the creation of school systems that operate within an anti-opression framework. To that end, I support terminating the contracts of teachers who divulge, intnetionally or unintentionally, membership in the BNP. For Children of colour, just knowing that their teacher is a member of the BNP (or that there is even a member of the BNP on staff at their school) could be enough to make them terrified of going to school. However, I oppose any applicant for teacher (or any job for that matter) being required to divulge membership in any legal political party as part of the application process. I also oppose giving any employer the right to access membership records of any political party, in order to find out whether job applicants are members of a given political party.

Freedom to keep membership in a legal political party from a prospective employer is a funamental human right, IHMO.

It's not yet clear whether the NASUWT Teacher's Union wants to introduce the ban in such a way that will proect the above freedom (in which case some BNP members may still be able to teach), or whether it wants to violate the above right in order to ensure that no BNP members are able to teach in British schools.

All the above being said, if the British school system (o any other school system) were to actually operate within an anti-opression framework, no teacher racist enough to join a party like the BNP would be able to go very long without crossing the line and being dismissed for discriminatory behaviour. There is simply no way that a member of the BNP could survive very long in any environment committed to anti-opression politics. At the end of the day, it is by creating as much anti-opression space as possible in our society, that we will be able to defeat the fascist racism of parties like the BNP.

Well put, that's a really important distinction to make.

--

"One law for the lion and the ox is oppression" - Blake

Unionist

Snert wrote:

I did some reading up, and they certainly don't sound progressive, but they're also duly elected representatives in the European Parliament and in a couple of municipalities as well.

Hitler was duly elected.

Quote:
What's the usual response to those who say that Hamas, and some of their decidedly non-progressive policies, are just too odious to deal with? "They're the duly elected government of Palestine".

Whose "usual response" is that? Hamas is one expression of the Palestinian people's desire for emancipation. When they are elected as a government, they should be dealt with diplomatically like all other sovereign nations. Until they launched aggressive war, Hitler and Mussolini received the same courtesy. As for the European Parliament, they can seat these lowlife scum if they choose, but that doesn't mean they get to teach kids. This isn't about their political or speech rights (as if you don't grasp that by now) - it's about their privilege of teaching.

Quote:
Lacking the courage to shut down the party, let's just make sure its members can't find work.

The New Brunswick board offered the antisemite activist Malcolm Ross a non-teaching position. But scum aren't happy just to earn a living. They need a platform to spew their venom - preferably among children who are ill-placed to argue back. But go ahead and trivialize the argument here if it makes you feel better.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

The New Brunswick board offered the antisemite activist Malcolm Ross a non-teaching position. But scum aren't happy just to earn a living. They need a platform to spew their venom - preferably among children who are ill-placed to argue back. But go ahead and trivialize the argument here if it makes you feel better.

 

I've already made it clear (and I don't think there's any disagreement with this whatsoever on this thread) that any teacher spewing their venom in the classroom should be shown the door. So as you're telling me what this is or isn't about, it's not about preventing the spewing of venom in the classroom. If the school board doesn't have a policy for dealing with teachers who do that then really, this isn't going to do squat.

Unionist

Snert wrote:

I've already made it clear (and I don't think there's any disagreement with this whatsoever on this thread) that any teacher spewing their venom in the classroom should be shown the door. So as you're telling me what this is or isn't about, it's not about preventing the spewing of venom in the classroom. If the school board doesn't have a policy for dealing with teachers who do that then really, this isn't going to do squat.

Why don't you read the Supreme Court decision. Why don't you inform yourself. Ross was barred from teaching because of his public antisemitic activities OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM. Someone publicly painting Jews as the enemies of the human race was considered not to be a welcoming sort of mentor for kids, especially Jewish ones. That's what the Supreme Court said, and the United Nations dismissed his complaint as well. You disagree, that's your right, and I wouldn't even mind that much if you were a teacher and told your students the decision was wrong.

 

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