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...And are You a Group of Paranoid Control Freaks?

The Halifax Regional School Board, in what is now the latest in a series of dunderheaded exploits, has decided to distribute a survey to its teachers, asking whether they are heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian.
The Lindsay Willow decision (and all of the patently bigoted decisions on the part of many 'educators' that led to the human-rights hearing in the first place) has apparently prompted a paranoid conservative backlash. Although not generally in favour of labour unions, I have to agree with Teacher's Union president Mary-Lou Donnelly:

Donnelly also worries about the confidentiality of the survey answers. She said she suggested the school board collect the information anonymously, but so far the board has refused.

Collecting survey information on such a personal matter, and not insisting on anonymity, just shows how much of a witch hunt this really is. The Board wants to be able to open the file next time a teacher is accused of acting inappropriately to check whether the person is gay, lesbian or bisexual before deciding it's ok to discriminate against them.

As a Sociologist, I am appalled that any survey of this type is being conducted at all by an employer. I'd also be surprised if, upon legal challenge (note emphasis - Mary-Lou, put this on your to-do list) , this type of action isn't completely condemned by any court or human rights body in the land.

The fact that nobody has raised an alarm about this before now is troubling. The fact that Mary-Lou says she is "unsure about how to advise union members to respond" is even more troubling, and displays nothing less than a politically fatal moral weakness. That's a no-brainer, M.L. - your members should tear such a document into tiny pieces, and unequivocally refuse. What kind of message is the Board sending the children under their care?

Let them have their witch hunt - I'll be very surprised if any of the 'witches' they're searching for opt to raise their hands and identify themselves in that type of working environment.

Update: Oh, now I get it. Donnelly hasn't said anything before this because it would hurt her chances of re-election as president of the NSTU. Now I'm really sickened.

This really is as ridiculous an intrusion on privacy as I've seen in a long time. Hell, every single member of the school board should lie. Wouldn't it be interesting if it turned out that 90% of the teachers were gay?

I should also add that using the Lindsay Willow case in order to say that they want to "understand their workforce" is farcicle. What is wrong with saying to all of its employees, "if you have have a problem with working with gays, shut the fuck up or leave." This is a load...

Hey I'm not a lawyer any more, but I agree with you in that is can hardly be legal.

(and that's on top of it being ridiculous)

Can't these people spend some time on solving educational problems?

Wow. Teaching.

That's apparently not occurred to them.

I'm studying for a Master's of Education, and I'm glad I've specialized in Adult Education - it'll keep me far away from these fools.

I am so happy not to be apart of that school board. Here in Edmonton it appears, so far, to be reasonably civilized. However, I am not surprised by the school board decision to do this. Their track record over the past decade has shown they are incompetent and disfunctional.
I like that idea of giving them 90% gay result! I could just imagine their faces. Hee hee!

now see - I might be a bit more impressed with Mary-Lou Donnelly's moral stance if she'd done anything to help Lindsay Willow during her court case - it seems the Union only fights for their gay and lesbian members as long as they don't know they're gay or lesbian. As for the illegality - oh yeah, big time - if we asked anything like this of our potential Reservists, we'd get our asses handed to us. Of course, any teacher that answers in the affirmative to this question will be pretty much set for life, since they'll be able to sue the ass of the school board for wrongful dismissal if they ever get let go.

Of course, any teacher that answers in the affirmative to this question will be pretty much set for life, since they'll be able to sue the ass of the school board for wrongful dismissal if they ever get let go.

Leave it to Dan to find an angle on this!

Hey, you work in a Bureaucracy long enough, you learn it's all about the angles, and that any policy can be twisted enough to be shoved up said Bureaucracy's Collective Nether Regions...

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