Nicky Morgan: Homophobia in schools could be a warning sign of extremism

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan has warned that children with homophobic views could be showing warning signs of extremism.

Speaking on the Today show, the Tory politician said: “Today the Department of Education is issuing guidance to schools to give them examples and support in how they might look for young people who are at risk of radicalisation.

“Perhaps changes in behaviour, things that they say”, she explained, before adding: “There are lines that young people or anyone else can tip over.”

Asked to give an example of behaviour that could be concerning, she said: “For example, as we’ve seen, sadly, ISIL are extremely intolerant of homosexuality. I think if there were language… I’m not going to get into examples.”

When asked if a child describing homosexuality as “evil” would be a warning sign of extremism, she said: “It could trigger a thought, it would depend very much on the context in which that is being discussed.

“Teachers would discuss it, as they do already, when they are at concerned about children who are at risk of being drawn into a gang or, or being exploited, or being neglected at home. This is a safeguarding issue.”

Ms Morgan, who was appointed as Minister for Equalities last year, voted against same-sex marriage in 2013.

However, after her appointment she told PinkNews she had changed her mind on the issue, and would now “probably” vote in favour.

Tory MP Caroline Dinenage, who also voted against equal marriage, was appointed to the Government Equalities Office last month.

Ms Dinenage, who told a PinkNews reader in 2013 that the state has “no right” to redefine marriage, claimed recently that she voted against it because her constituents asked her to oppose it “at a ratio of 100 to one”.