This research study contributes to understanding teachers’ perceptions and views of using controversial issues and political neutrality in teaching, through an analysis of data gathered through questionnaire responses in a wider project and 41 semi-structured interviews. There are diversified views about the relationship between controversial issues and education. Some teachers feel that it is impossible to avoid controversial issues and that using them is educationally necessary. Three approaches were identified regarding their teaching of controversial issues: ‘open’, ‘critical’, and ‘committed’. The authors argue that teachers’ actions are influenced by factors which are discussed as ‘contextual’, ‘political’, and ‘pedagogical’. Teachers operate in specific places and times, have their own views about the nature of the good society, and prioritize their professional responsibilities. These findings contribute to our understandings of the teachers’ viewpoints and how those views are shaped. Such understandings will contribute to the development of reflective education policy and practice. Copyright © 2021 Teacher Development.