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Last Updated: Friday, 24 November 2006, 02:29 GMT
Sexist bullies 'target teachers'
Woman teacher in class
Many teachers felt sexist bullying was not taken seriously
Scores of school teachers have encountered sexually abusive language in class, a snapshot survey for a teaching union suggests.

A fifth of primary and two thirds of secondary school teachers quizzed by the National Union of Teachers said they had experienced sexist bullying.

One in 20 of the 190 teachers in England and Wales who replied said the abuse happened at least once a week.

Sexist jokes and put-downs made female pupils feel degraded too, the NUT said.

The union's general secretary, Steve Sinnott, said the results highlighted the need for the government to provide advice to schools on recognising and reducing sexist bullying and language.

He said: "The government must encourage schools to develop policies that have teeth which discourage parents and young people from using sexually abusive language."

'Institutionally sexist'

He said such behaviour was "completely unacceptable" but that schools could not "close society out at the gates".

"As society becomes more tolerant of sexually aggressive and abusive language, so this attitude will be communicated to children and young people," he added.

The survey revealed that although both younger and older teachers were subjected to comments of a sexual nature by male pupils, many felt their complaints were not taken seriously enough.

Many felt that sexist and homophobic language was "institutionally tolerated".

And more than half of those who responded felt sexist language had got worse.

Some wanted incidents of sexist language and bullying to be recorded in incident books along with racist and homophobic bullying.

And many told the survey they felt not all parents backed schools' attempts to stamp sexist bullying out.

However, nearly half of respondents said they felt very safe with almost a quarter feeling safe or fairly safe in their schools.

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22 Nov 06 |  Education
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16 Nov 06 |  Education
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20 Nov 06 |  Education

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