Article Title:UNITEC tutor apologises for gay taunts
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:1st November 2003 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2081
Text:The student whose complaint about homophobia in class instigated a review of Auckland tertiary institute UNITEC's policies regarding care of gay students says he has received an apology from the tutor whose participation in homophobic discussions brought an entire class to a standstill, but the stress of his ordeal has forced him to reconsider his career options. "I received many responses from UNITEC, including the C.E.O, apologising for the homophobia I had endured, and most likely after he was pressured by senior staff at UNITEC, a formal verbal apology addressed to the whole class from the tutor involved," says the student, who still wishes to remain anonymous. "The homophobia, that was at times contributed to by the tutor, still exists to some degree, but at least now the tutor swiftly stamps on any homophobic remarks not allowing them to go further. It is my hope that it remains to be this way for the remainder of my time at UNITEC." He says that discussions are still taking place regarding various support options for gay students, including the Student Union consulting with Rainbow Youth, a possible student support group, rainbow stickers identifying gay or gay-friendly staff, links on UNITEC's website to support information, and anti-discrimination training for staff. "This whole ordeal has caused much stress for me, and I have been seriously considering my options and wondering if I am really going in the right direction career-wise. It is a shame that the careers and lives of homosexuals can be so greatly affected by homophobes and persons not willing to accept everybody's differences. "I make a plea to any gay students at UNITEC and all the other learning institutes, to speak out and tell someone with authority if they are experiencing homophobia. No one should have to sit there and suffer. There are people who are able to help, and speaking out brings on change."    
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