July 12, 2015

Anti-gay loophole closed in Dutch anti-discrimination law

Filed under: Religion by Branko Collin @ 7:10 pm

A bizarre loophole that allowed religious schools to ban gay teachers was closed in the Netherlands on 1 July.

The law on equal treatment already forbade firing or refusing to hire teachers strictly because they are gay. An exception however existed for added circumstances, leading to the strange situation that a teacher could not be fired just for being gay, but could be fired for being gay and kissing somebody of their own gender.

In Dutch this exception was called the ‘enkelefeitconstructie’ (the ‘single fact construct’). The strange exception had remained in the 1994 law in order to keep Christian party CDA happy, but in 2014 almost all CDA MPs voted to remove it. According to the government, the exception has always been a dead letter, as no judge has ever allowed it to stand in a court of law.

Churches’ freedom to found religious, state-funded schools is considered part of the freedom of religion in the Netherlands and is enshrined in Article 23 of the constitution. Teachers can still be fired from religious schools for belonging to the wrong church, as three teachers from the Reformed Wartburg College found out last June after they were rebaptised by a different Protestant sect, AD writes.

See also: Church unlawfully fires woman for being transgender

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December 21, 2011

When parents fight with teachers, children learn nothing

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 12:40 pm

This year I have met several people who work as school teachers. Some teach children with learning disabilities, others English as a second language, or music. They tell me scary stories of children’s aggressive behaviour towards each other, but also of parents who threaten teachers when their kids get bad grades. It’s as if the teacher is the one responsible for the bad grades, not the kids, and never the parents.

From parents I heard stories of teachers trying to split up twins saying it was good for them, teachers insulting parents for not believing in God and stuff like autism is ‘between your ears’ (Dutch for ‘in your head’) and not taking it into account.

While I went to public school in the 1970s and got beaten up by the kids for speaking the wrong language at the wrong time (French and/or English in Qu├ębec), in the Netherlands today it’s apparently the parents and the teachers duking it out. Do parents feel they have no say in their kids’ education? Do teachers feel like no matter what they teach it’s useless? My teachers used to complain about being like the police to keep the kids in check, but the parents and teachers were usually on the same side.

“Dutch teachers are facing an alarming amount of aggressive, disrespectful behaviour from parents. A recent survey of 4,000 Dutch teachers indicates that many parents actively undermine the teacher’s authority in the class, some even resort to threats and violence.”

Watch the video (Dutch with Engilsh voice-over and subtitles)

(Link: www.rnw.nl, Image: screenshot of the RNW video.)

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