Support positive masculinity in England and Wales schools, union conference told

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'Teachers should promote positive masculinity in schools in England and Wales in order to support boys who might otherwise feel demonised and end up turning to “the manosphere” for hope, a union conference has been told.

Charlotte Keogh, a secondary school English teacher from Worcestershire, said boys and young men needed support and guidance as they grappled with ideas about masculinity, rather than being punished and silenced.

The motion, which was carried, advocated for the wider use of the NEU’s “It’s Not OK” toolkit to tackle the problem in schools. Keogh opposed the amendment, however, “on the basis that the toolkit needs to address positive masculinity and seek to better support this culture in our schools and wider society rather than punish and silence our young boys’ cries for purpose, ambition and responsibility”.

Lucy Coleman from Oxfordshire, who proposed the motion, said: “You would think times have moved on since I was young, but actually things are worse now than they were. The internet and access to social media and online bullying has made it easier for sexist views to be shared and normalised. It is hard enough growing up as a female in a male-dominated world, but the added pressures of social media make it unbearable for young girls.”'

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