Words: Steve Brown
A teacher reportedly told a classroom of children that being gay is a disease and can be cured with ‘self-respect’.
Armando Baldissin is a maths professor at the Catholic school La Traccia in Bergamo – a city northeast of Milan – and is facing criticism for teaching a group of boys, aged 13 and 14, about how to cure homosexuality.
In a section titled ‘Immature and Unfinished Sexuality’, Baldissin told his pupils that homosexual was an illness and that it can be cured by a ‘good psychologist’.
He said: “An erotic drive aimed at people of their own sex is considered a disease if it involves suffering.
“Homosexuality is a contradiction between the attraction that one feels and the one the body naturally has.
“Homosexuality could be caused by the perception of inadequacy of one self with respect to one’s own sexual identity.
“By being helped by a good psychologist, it is possible to make the homosexual drive silent.”
Although the school has not responded, students have said that the program has been cancelled.
Marco Alati, the president of LGBT rights group Arcigay in the city, said: “Teaching young people that feeling discomfort means they’re ill is wrong.
“It can have traumatic consequences for the development of their personality. Talking about homosexuality is very complicated, especially with young teen boys who are starting to discover themselves.
“Education is a delicate and difficult work. It must be carried out with great care, especially if it touches on sexuality.”