Semantic denial

January 26, 2012

Last week we revealed that JFS pupils had been referred, as part of their teaching about homosexuality, to the website run by JONAH, an American group which seeks to 'cure' gay men and women.The story caused something of a stir.

JFS denied in a letter to parents that it has in any way promoted the idea that homosexuality can be cured. It is a shame that, rather than dealing with the issues raised (taken further by our follow-up this week) the school responded with the classic political gambit of denying something which has not been alleged.
At no point did we accuse JFS of "promoting" JONAH. We reported that pupils were shown a PowerPoint slide of the site, at the end of a lesson, with no opportunity given for discussion. In his letter on the page opposite, JFS's headmaster also writes that "Students were not shown a website".

This is pure semantics: they were shown a slide which summarised JONAH's website and provided its address. Instead of a defensive denial based on semantics, the school needs to be open and engaged in its response.

Last updated: 11:37am, January 26 2012