Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Small acts have a huge impact, Prime Minister

6 November 2012

Small acts have a huge impact, Prime Minister

In defending his use of the word ‘gay’ as a derogatory term, Prime Minister John Key is belittling a vulnerable group of young people. PPTA’s Rainbow Taskforce responds in an open letter:

Dear Prime Minister,

For the past two years PPTA's Rainbow Taskforce has worked to develop a programme to educate secondary teachers about the challenges lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex youth face in classrooms and on the playing fields of our schools.

We educate our teachers about the troubling statistics that show LGBTI youth are massively over represented in alcohol, drug and self-harm figures. Perhaps most disturbing is that they are five times more likely to attempt suicide than their non-LGBTI classmates.

Because we want teachers to leave feeling they can make a difference, our focus has become to challenge homophobic language - as we would sexist or racist language in our classrooms. The fact is most teachers feel comfortable challenging racist and sexist language but find it harder to challenge the language which marginalises LGBTI youth.

Specifically, we ask our teachers to think about how they use the word 'gay'. So we are saddened to hear the leader of our country not only use this homophobic language but then explain it away with, "young people use it all the time, I don't think too many people would be offended by it."

What's important is that, although you have indeed lent support to many issues that affect LGBTI youth, you are perpetuating the harmful use of such a simple word. It is useful to liken it to the use of the word 'hori' only a generation ago, meaning much the same thing, and to think of the impact this had on a generation of Maori who also struggled as adolescents in our schooling system. By and large we have moved on from using this term, as we hope we will move from using 'gay' in this way.

We would encourage you to think about the wider implications of your use of this word and the effect it has on a vulnerable group of young people. We will continue to work hard to try to educate others and show they can make a big difference with such a small act.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news