NEW POLL: should BNP members be banned from teaching?

by Stephen Tall on June 22, 2009

Today’s Guardian reports that Labour’s schools secretary Ed Balls is seriously considering a possible ban on British National Party members working as teachers in schools:

A source close to the schools secretary, Ed Balls, said there had been several meetings on the issue with teaching unions which are lobbying for a change in teachers’ contracts to prevent them from working if they are members of far-right groups including the BNP. The issue was being “actively looked at”, the source said.

There are two things which are absolutely clear to me in all this. First, the BNP is a loathsome political party, and the views of it and by extension its members are repulsive. And, secondly, that the government has absolutely no right to prevent citizens from joining any legal organisation they wish so long as it does not interfere with their jobs.

To be sure, if a BNP member starts abusing their position of trust within a school to advocate voluntary repatriation of non-whites the school is well within its rights to sack them. But if that’s merely the personal view they hold, and which they do not seek to advocate publicly, it’s no business of ours. ‘Thoughtcrime’ is not more legitimate when practised against fascists rather than by them.

What do you, LDV’s readers, think? Do you think the NASUWT is right to call for teachers who are BNP members to be banned from teaching? Or do you think it’s an infringement of individual freedom too far?

The poll question is: Do you think there should be a change to teachers’ contracts to prevent BNP members from teaching? And your possible answers are:

Yes
No
Other [please state in comments]

Over to you…