JTA standing by comments on dealing with gay or lesbian students
The Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) is standing by its comments that guidance counsellors should tread carefully when dealing with gay or lesbian students to ensure they do not violate the buggery law.
JTA president, Norman Allen, has been publicly criticised for the comments and for saying that the association cannot call for guidance counsellors to be better trained to deal with gay students because of the legal status of buggery.
He told The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre last night that he is standing by his comments adding that he cannot encourage guidance counsellors to treat with the illegal issue.
According to him, guidance counsellors are in schools to help socialise students into what he calls 'acceptable behaviour'.
The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre questioned Allen on how guidance counsellors should assist students linked to illegal acts such as robbery and theft.
Allen said guidance counsellors should attempt to deal with those issues and make referrals where necessary.
Education Minister, Ronald Thwaites, says the JTA has misunderstood the issue, noting that the controversy surrounds the alleged failure or refusal of counsellors to help students struggling with their sexuality.
Thwaites says dealing with the issues of the students has nothing to do with condoning or accepting any particular sexual orientation.