Schools and Universities are supposed to give our students quality education and lead them to the right path of success. However, one of the North East’s most prestigious institutions is now under fire after they decided to offer training sessions to their students.
Durham University in England is now offering training to support students working in the sex industry. Yes, you read it right. The students union of Durham University promoted a sex work training course offered by the university in an email to all students and staff, the Independent reported.
“The SU position on students in sex work are [sic] clear: support, informed advice, de-stigmatization and collaboration with expert organizations,”
The university said there was an emerging trend of students selling sexual services, and the training would help to keep them safe and informed. They also claimed that they were “acting responsibly” in offering students advice on how to stay safe while working in the sex industry. The university brought in the external “Students Involved in the Adult Sex Industry” session in response to student requests, a spokesperson for Durham University told the Daily Caller News Foundation. The spokesperson also said sex work is a “feature” within higher education “across the UK.”
Durham University Spokesperson:
“We are emphatically not seeking to encourage sex work, but we are seeking to provide support to our students. We make no apologies for working to ensure that Durham is a safe environment for all of our students and staff.”
According to SU welfare and liberation officer, Jonah Graham, a sex work course reportedly offered over video conference exists to “support students in a difficulty arising from the reality of rising costs in higher education. Trying to create a scandal from an attempt to support people whose work can make them vulnerable is contemptible.”, the Times reported.
Based on the report from the Independent, the email advertising the course referred to it as a “training opportunity,” and it stated that “student sex workers should not face any barriers to accessing support which is well informed and free from prejudice,”. The “Level 1 Training” for “student sex workers” was advertised as one, hour-long meeting, and the “Level 2 Training,” open to staff, would reportedly last 90 minutes.
This action from Durham University gained a lot of backlashes.
Horrific that Durham University is offering training to students who want to be sex workers part-time. Sex work is degrading, dangerous and exploitative. Uni should have nothing to do with it https://t.co/BpuVdaLTmN
— Diane Abbott MP (@HackneyAbbott) November 12, 2021
A member of Parliament Diane Abbott said on Twitter:
“Sex work is degrading, dangerous and exploitative. Uni should have nothing to do with it.”
Michelle Donelan, the minister for higher and further education, said the Russell Group university was “legitimizing a dangerous industry” and “badly failing in their duty to protect” after it backed a Durham Students Union (DSU) email to all students and staff advertising two levels of courses.
As we all remember, a similar incident occurred at Leicester University in October. According to the Times, the University offered an online “toolkit” for students involved in prostitution and assured them that “sugar daddies,” working on sex chat lines, and selling one’s underwear online are legal activities.