Eton defends sacking teacher over 'refusal to take down sexist lecture video' as 1,000 kids demand he's reinstated

ETON College has defended its decision to sack a teacher over a "sexist" lecture video.

The firing of Will Knowland, who taught English at the prestigious £42,500-a-year school, has led to 1,000 kids signing a petition demanding he be reinstated.

The row erupted after Knowland posted a lecture video on his personal YouTube channel after school bosses refused to let him teach it in class.

According to the Daily Mail, the lecture questioned "current radical feminist orthodoxy."

Yet, amid accusations of censorship and attacks on freedom of speech, Eton provost Lord Waldegrave defended the all-boys school's decision.

He said: "Eton will never cancel debate.

"Everyone accepts, including the teacher concerned, that such freedom cannot be absolute."

The former Tory cabinet minister, who served under both Margaret Thatcher and John Major, said two lawyers found that the lecture video in question broke equality law.

He also said the barristers found the clip went against regulations governing independent schools.

"Eton has exactly the same duties under the law as any other school", he said.

While defending the school's record on free speech, Waldegrave said Mr Knowland refused to take the video offline SIX times.

The English teacher was dismissed for gross misconduct. His sacking is under appeal.

Lord Waldegrave said Knowland was let go for this refusal to accept "internal discipline."

The lecture titled 'The Patriarchy Paradox' discusses whether masculine virtues such as strength and courage can help women, families and society.

In a letter to the school, Mr Knowland wrote: "The Head Master [Simon Henderson] felt that some of the ideas put forward in my lecture – such as the view that men and women differ psychologically and not all of those differences are socially constructed – were too dangerous for the boys to be exposed to.

"I explained to the Head Master that I wasn't endorsing all the ideas in my lecture, but I wanted the boys to be made aware of a different point of view to the current radical feminist orthodoxy."

Knowland taught for nine years at the school whose former pupils include Princes William and Harry along with current Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former PM David Cameron.


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