Muslim parents in Germany who want a a gay teacher removed from a kindergarten have been told to put up or shut up.
The parents, according to this report, threw their tantrum in the northern district of Reinickendorf after they discovered the teacher’s sexuality. They then threatened to gather names for a petition against him.
At first the protest led the young man to request to be transferred to another kindergarten. But the management of the preschool put their foot down and gave the parents a blunt message: accept the teacher or put their kids in another preschool.
Apparently the parents had a problem with the fact that the young man was in physical contact with their children and would take them to the toilet.
The teacher in question said:
For some of them, a gay man is automatically a paedophile.
Many of the parents have since taken their kids out of the kindergarten.
The case has led to a public discussion on the difficulties homosexuals face in gaining employment in primary and preschools.
Stephanie Nordt, a spokeswoman for the initiative Queerformat, an organisation which provides classes on gender and sexuality in education:
The general suspicion against males becomes even more potent against gay educators.
On Twitter under the hashtag #Erzieher (kindergarten teacher), people showed support for the young teacher.
Wrote Green party supporter Christoph Peschke.
Another user commented:
It’s important to show our colours! For tolerance, for teachers, homosexuals and the LGBT community. Don’t give homophobia a chance!
Muslims protest against teacher – the problem? He’s gay: welcome to the Middle Ages.
The outcry has also led to a response from the capital city’s government.
Said Sandra Scheeres, the senator for education from the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD):
We don’t tolerate discrimination. We want to raise the number of male kindergarten teachers so that they become important role models for children.
Scheeres said that she did not know of another case in Berlin in which a gay nursery teacher was discriminated against, but added that:
Again and again, parents treat male nursery teachers with suspicion.
But Die Welt reports that this isn’t the first time a gay nursery teacher has faced discrimination because of their sexuality.
In Neu-Ulm in Bavaria, a lesbian teacher did not have her contract extended in 2012 when her Catholic employer found out she was gay.
Hat tip: Antony Niall