Sexual diversity will become a mandatory topic at schools in the future, promises Minister of Education Andreas Stoch (SPD). From his point of view, the debate is now objectified.
"Sexual diversity is not just a ‘can do’ topic," says Andreas Stoch. Image: dpa
site: Mr. Stoch, has Green-Red now folded or were you able to prevail against the critics?
The working paper on the acceptance of sexual diversity has triggered insane insinuations since November. There was even talk of re-education and sex education classes. Since then, we have been arguing against the misunderstanding. The churches have always stressed that they find the issue meaningful, but advise putting it under a general concept of tolerance. Now, in close consultation with lesbian and gay associations, we have decided to place the issue in a broader context.
There will be an additional guiding principle in the education plan, which also includes acceptance of gender and sexual diversity. So no one has folded. We didn’t give in to the social furor, but raised the issue a notch higher.
Do you think that the heated debate in Baden-Wurttemberg will now be pacified with the modification?
That is our hope. We won’t pacify the 600 people who demonstrate against pornography in the classroom on some days. I don’t want that at all; this is basically a discussion about whether homosexuals are full human beings. But the message to the general public should be that we objectify the debate.
Does the term "sexual diversity" still appear in the education plan?
The education plan doesn’t even exist yet. But the topic of sexual diversity and gender acceptance will definitely be addressed there.
45, lawyer and SPD member of the Baden-Wurttemberg state parliament. He has been Baden-Wurttemberg’s minister of culture since 2013.
Couldn’t topics like lesbian partnerships fall by the wayside after all if "sexual diversity" falls under a general concept of tolerance?
No. Teachers won’t be able to say, I’d rather deal with the convenient topic of ethnic diversity in class and leave out sexual diversity. Covering the topic as well will be mandatory. I want to make sure of that.
We will now make it clear to the commission drafting the education plan that sexual diversity is not just an "optional" topic, but that it must also be expressed in the subject content. When the education plan is in place, there will be teacher training sessions and the topic will be addressed there as well. Ultimately, however, teachers have pedagogical freedom.
That means you can’t control whether gender and sexual diversity is actually addressed in the classroom?
Honestly, the days when the school board controls whether teachers do what the state has specified are over.