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AIBU use of the word 'lesbian'

(104 Posts)
Claireabella1 Thu 14-Jul-16 23:23:15

Hi all, my DD is 10 and in year 5. She started a new school 2 weeks ago as we moved area. I had a phone call from the head on Tuesday (one week after she started) saying she'd been 'brought to his attention' for her language, I was a bit gobsmacked as I immediately thought 'swearing' which I've never heard from her. The head then goes on to tell me that a group of girls were discussing a particular TV show which DD doesn't watch but she knows I do, if that makes sense. So she knows some character names and plot lines. She was over heard by a teacher saying (in response to another comment from one of her friends) 'oh is that the lesbian couple?' (Referring to a gay couple on the show). The head told me all of this and said she shouldn't be using the word 'lesbian' in school, I asked why he felt that way and he said it's inappropriate, I probably sound like a harridan now, but I asked why he felt it was inappropriate and he said some other children in her class may not know what it means or had any discussion about this sort of thing. I said I appreciate that and will talk to her. He then suggested I ask 'where she had heard that word' this got my back up a bit, I feel like my daughter is being accused of using 'bad language' and she must have 'heard' it somewhere. I told him she knows what a lesbian is because she's asked me before. Fwiw when my children have asked questions like this in the past, I've always tried to tell the truth appropriate to their age. I've gone away worrying that I've got it totally wrong this approach and also concerned by the heads comment that 'some children may not know what a lesbian is' I know they were talking about a TV show, but if there were a child in their class who had gay parents, would they be discouraged from talking about this because some children may not know that some people are gay? I'm probably overreacting, but interesting to see what others think.

Lunar1 Thu 14-Jul-16 23:30:20

God forbid children might have a conversation in school that may broaden their knowledge in a way that won't be tested on sats!!!

Why on earth would a teacher have difficulty explaining what lesbian means. Kids have no difficulty understanding it!

couchparsnip Thu 14-Jul-16 23:30:36

Yanbu. My kids 8 and 10 know what a lesbian is and would use the word if it's appropriate. I would be fuming at the head and asking why it wasn't appropriate as well. Children don't have to be told about sex to understand that women can love women!

milkbottle Thu 14-Jul-16 23:32:12

Hetronormativity at it's finest! It's important for children to learn about sexuality from a young age.

EttaJ Thu 14-Jul-16 23:33:36

YANBU but the HT is unbelievably so. I am astonished that a HT could come out with such nonsense. He should not be in that job.

Lweji Thu 14-Jul-16 23:34:08

If there are 10 year olds that don't know what leabian means, perhaps it's time they find out.

How did the conversation end?

Ifonlylovewouldsavetheday Thu 14-Jul-16 23:34:20

I can't believe in 2016 a headteacher would contact a parent about this. Disgusted tbh

Claireabella1 Thu 14-Jul-16 23:36:33

Thank you for your replies, I was beginning to think I was a loon. I am off work tomorrow and considering giving him a call to let him know it made me uncomfortable and I think he was wrong, but my children and I have has the hardest year of our lives, I don't want to start a war if I don't have to. His stance just seemed so wrong.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 14-Jul-16 23:37:13

Maybe you should suggest to the head that he writes to the new Education Secretary for guidance as to whether the word 'lesbian' is a word which shouldn't be used in school?


squoosh Thu 14-Jul-16 23:37:27

I don't think you're overreacting one bit. I think the Head sounds like a nut and he's clearly not suited to the role he's in. Your daughter has done nothing wrong.

TheRealAdaLovelace Thu 14-Jul-16 23:38:00

The headteacher sounds like a prize twat. "Where did she hear that word?" WTAF?
He will probably contact SS now. (half joking)

squoosh Thu 14-Jul-16 23:38:34

Oh yes, what Errol said. I don't think Justine Greening would agree with him.

Claireabella1 Thu 14-Jul-16 23:38:58

Lweji - the conversation ended when I said she'd heard 'that word' at home and I was genuinely standing outside my office and had to go to work. Maybe that's why I feel I haven't said all I have to say.

BarbarianMum Thu 14-Jul-16 23:39:04

Must be fun being gay at that school. hmm

You are not the one being unreasonable here!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SemiNormal Thu 14-Jul-16 23:41:20

My son is 5yrs old, his aunt is lesbian and so is his grandmother - he doesn't know the terminology as such but only because he just sees them as being in happy loving relationships, makes no odds to him what gender people are in relationships. I will be furious if he is ever made to feel bad over something like this, as though it's a 'dirty word' and something to be ashamed of!

Claireabella1 Thu 14-Jul-16 23:41:45

TheRealAdaLoveLace, that ran through my head, actually! I actually feel a bit more validated and less alone now. Thank you so much for your responses!

Claireabella1 Thu 14-Jul-16 23:43:35

SemiNormal, I actually considered asking humid 'lesbian' is as bad a word as 'boyfriend' 'girlfriend' etc. I didn't think it was something that drew attention in 20016

Claireabella1 Thu 14-Jul-16 23:43:58

2016, even. Living in the future.

bloodyteenagers Thu 14-Jul-16 23:44:52

So hang on these kids watch this program and don't know what a lesbian is? Haha.. Never mind that everyone in the children's lives are a nuclear family/couple.. Don't know how you managed to not start laughing.
Wonder what's in their phse lessons

Primaryteach87 Thu 14-Jul-16 23:46:30

I concur with the others above. It's not an inappropriate word. Obviously if it was being used as a insult or about another child to bully them that would be different, but it's just a description of a relationship! It would be like saying stepdad was inappropriate because children might not know about divorce and's utterly ridiculous. I do think it's worth challenging this headteacher. They probably just panicked...confused

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Thu 14-Jul-16 23:47:14

My best friend at school was being raised by two mums.

She was scared of telling people. Shit like this is why.

That was 20 years ago. Have things not moved on?

Maybe he recently awoke from a 30 year coma??

Ginkypig Thu 14-Jul-16 23:52:31

I would actually make a complaint if it were me!

I always knew what gay was because my uncle has a male partner who is obviously also my uncle.

If my mother had had this phone call because I had said the innocent sentence my uncles are a gay couple (or if they had been female lesbian couple) my mother would have lost her shit and taken it all the way to the school board and that was in the 90's!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Claireabella1 Thu 14-Jul-16 23:53:36

I thought pshe lessons would have covered all types of relationships. We moved counties and it seems my children have slipped through these pshe lessons as a result, but the information is readily available at home, I used to teach a pshe lesson focused on teenagers so hopefully I'm equipped. I didn't think that we needed to distinguish Hetero couples from same sex couples anymore.

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