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Teachers Union Won’t Report Terrorists

From those keepers of the faith at BBC News:

Lecturers ‘must block extremism’

Monday, 17 September 2007

Lecturers should back the government’s efforts to prevent Islamic extremism in universities.

Universities Secretary, John Denham, says students should be helped to stand up to extremist “intimidation”.

And he says that universities should help students to build bridges towards a more “cohesive society”.

A lecturers’ union had rejected government calls for universities to monitor campus extremism as creating a “quasi secret service”.

“The opposition from the University and College Union was misplaced,” said Mr Denham.

“Everybody understands the nature of the threat that we face, which is a threat to people involved in higher education as much as anyone else.

“What we want is to have institutions in which there is lively debate and engagement on all current issues from all students,” he said.

“All we are trying to do is to make sure that everybody has the strength to ensure that people are not recruited to the sort of organisations which are promoting and organising violence of whatever sort.

“And secondly that students are supported in standing up to that and certainly not subject themselves to intimidation and violence.”

The UCU lecturers’ union voted unanimously to reject the government’s calls for universities to help monitor Islamic extremism within the student population.

The government had published guidance encouraging staff to be vigilant against violent extremism, unacceptable literature or guest speakers.

Lecturers warned that such an approach amounted to asking lecturers to spy on their students.

And in response to Mr Denham’s comments, a union spokesperson said that “campus harmony is achieved by openness, tolerance and dialogue and not focusing on any particular group of students”. … 

According to their website:

About UCU

The University and College Union (UCU) represents more than 120,000 academics, lecturers, trainers, instructors, researchers, managers, administrators, computer staff, librarians and postgraduates in universities, colleges, prisons, adult education and training organisations across the UK.

UCU is the largest post-school union in the world: a force working for educators and education that employers and the government cannot ignore. It was formed on 1 June 2006 by the amalgamation of two strong partners – the Association of University Teachers (AUT) and NATFHE-the University & College Lecturers’ Union – who shared a long history of defending and advancing educators’ employment and professional interests.

But no, they can’t monitor terrorists.

That wouldn’t be right.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, September 17th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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