Teachers out of the closet?

Raymonda Verdyck and Lieven Boeve, the heads of Flanders' official and Roman Catholic school networks have voiced their opposition to the views of their counterpart in the Brussels Region, Charles Huygens, who believes that teachers should maintain their neutrality and not speak about their sexual orientation.

Mr Huygens's views became public knowledge after a gay job applicant was obliged to hide his orientation from a school head.

Mr Huygens says that teachers should say as little as possible about their private life in front of their class.

Raymonda Verdyck of the official schools network in Flanders: "Whether you love men or women, this has nothing to do with neutrality. Orientation is about the person you are. It's got nothing to do with politics or ideology. We need good people. Their orientation is neither here nor there, but it's always good to be careful when personal matters are concerned."

Lieven Boeve of the Roman Catholic school network shares her views: "We recruit teachers as professionals, but their personal identity is also important."

"We are educating people to become fully rounded individuals. The teacher's full identity including his or her orientation is also a factor."