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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bank Scandals (And Air Crashes)

Last month, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) filed proceedings against Westpac over activities that have some distinct echoes of the Libor scandal. More>>

Budget: Health Funding Must Keep Up With Need

NZNO: “The nursing team has been doing more with less for years. It’s getting to the point that we’re really worried about our colleagues, our patients, our jobs and the level of health care available for people in our country." More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Inventory: Time For The Government To Do The Right Thing

It’s time for the National Government to step up and do the right thing to reduce climate pollution as data shows New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions are higher than ever, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

Budget 2016: More Partnership Schools To Open

Seven new schools will join the eight Partnership Schools already open, along with further new schools opening in 2017. “The growth of this policy is a reflection of the high level of interest from educators and community leaders,” Mr Seymour says. More>>

ALSO:

No Correspondence With English: Did Brownlee Make Up Sale Of Navy Ships ‘On The Hoof?’

Having revealed that several Royal New Zealand Navy vessels have not left port in years, New Zealand First is now asking the Minister of Defence to prove he did not come up with the idea of selling HMNZS Taupo and Pukaki until the media asked him. More>>

Housing Plans: Labour- Abolish Auckland Urban Boundary
The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis. More>>
Greens - State House Solution
The Homes Not Cars policy allows Housing New Zealand to retain its dividend and, in addition, would refund its tax, to spend on the emergency building of around 450 new state houses. More>>

ALSO:

Houses And Taxes: Post-Cabinet, Pre-Budget Press Conference

The Prime Minister said that the pre-budget announcements showed that his Government is “investing in a growing economy”. He re-affirmed the National Government’s commitment to lowering personal tax rates but that any such change must fit with the fiscal reality of the time. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news