Kwabena Peat, 54, is a history teacher and head of year at Park View Academy in north London. He walked out of a compulsory training session along with a number of other Christian staff after the invited speaker questioned why heterosexuality was considered normal.
The speaker was Sue Sanders, a lesbian who co-founded Schools Out, which promotes gay equality in schools.
According to Peat, Sanders said in her talk that people who did not accept homosexuality as normal had “issues” to deal with. Peat said he was disappointed that people who disagreed on religious grounds could not respond to Sanders' assertions.
Peat wrote to the three organisers of the session, complaining about Sander’s “aggressive” presentation and also mentioned the Bible and its warning that homosexuals faced the wrath of God.
Other staff later complained to the principal of the school, saying they felt “harassed and intimidated” by Peat’s letter. Following an investigation, Peat was suspended on paid leave.
His case is being dealt with by the Christian Legal Centre.
He said, “I am very disappointed, although not shocked … I am the one who has been harassed and intimidated – for expressing my religious views,” reports the Daily Mail.
Peat said that he expected the training, which took place in January, would deal with handling homophobic bullying, but said that Sanders had gone much further than that.
“She started promoting homosexual lifestyles and suggesting those who had objections should sort out their prejudices. She said, ‘What makes you all think that to be heterosexual is natural?’ It was at that point that I walked out.”
Alex Atherton, the head of the school, said, “An allegation of intimidation and harassment is currently being investigated.”
Sanders said that her sessions are designed to “raise awareness”.