At a meeting of the National Education Union (NEU) this week at Harrogate, the teachers voted in favor of a motion to bring drag queen story hour and other LGBT events to schools in order to take on “heteronormative culture.”
“Initiatives like drag queen story time and inviting LGBT+ authors into schools can help challenge the heteronormative culture and curriculum that dominates education,” the motion read.
According to NEU joint secretary general Mary Bousted, one reason for the motion was to counter the influence of online personalities like Andrew Tate.
“The NEU is committed to sharing and disseminating teaching resources and strategies to help members support success and positive school experiences for all LGBT+ students, including trans and non-binary students,” she said.
The motion was voted on after one teacher accused Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of “supporting the far-Right attacks on drag queen storytime” and “the murder of beautiful souls like Brianna [Ghey],” according to The Telegraph. Ghey, a trans-identifying teenager, was stabbed to death in a park earlier this year.
The teacher later apologized, according to a spokesman for the union, saying that she did not mean to say that the prime minister was complicit in murder.
“She apologizes and withdraws the specific allegation that Rishi Sunak supported the murder of a young trans girl. Many trans and non-binary teachers feel strongly that the Government is not doing enough to support them but it is essential that we always debate policy solutions in calm and measured ways,” the spokesman said.
The teachers union’s acceptance and promotion of drag queen story hour drew criticism from conservative organizations and members of parliament.
“It is highly concerning that the NEU is endorsing the exposure of young children to drag queens dressed and performing in a highly sexualized way in the supposed safety of the classroom. I can’t believe that most teachers or parents would support this and I would urge the NEU to revisit some basic safeguarding principles,” said Miriam Cates, an MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge.
Safe School’s Alliance spokeswoman Tanya Carter said that the union’s “persistence in abandoning established safeguarding the minute they are distracted by glitter and rainbows brings the entire teaching profession into disrepute.”
Part of the impetus for the measure came from the U.K. government blocking a Scottish measure earlier that would change the way that people officially alter their designated gender in Scotland.