‘Relationships’ education and ‘health’ education in UK primary schools: activism in disguise

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Our UK government is determined to address the health of our school children.  All sounds good, doesn’t it?  We all want the best mental and physical health for our offspring, surely?

But guess what?  ‘Health’ education now includes ‘LGBT issues’.  Who knew?

This puts me in mind of George Orwell, who came up with ‘newspeak’ in his novel 1984:

Newspeak is a controlled language, of restricted grammar and limited vocabulary, meant to limit the  freedom of thought – personal identity, self-expression, free will – that ideologically threatens the régime of Big Brother and the Party, who thus criminalized such concepts as thoughtcrime, contradictions of Ingsoc [English Socialism] orthodoxy’.

Ringing any bells?

Instead of supporting the family unit, promoting marriage as the basis of a secure and lasting family foundation and supporting parents in teaching their own matters of conscience and values in the home, the Conservative Party decided some time ago to undermine its own foundations.  Under David Cameron, we got same-sex marriage.  Now we are to have same-sex marriage and partnerships, plus the latest trans ideology, enforced on our primary school children as equal options to traditional marriage and ways of living.

Under their ‘newspeak’ protocols, our betters have recognised that if you want to bring in something socially difficult, then you just need to do it under the guise of promoting ‘good mental health’. Or ‘equality’.  Nobody can argue against that, can they?

The new guidance has been developed in response to a national call for evidence earlier this year [2018] and includes topics like mental wellbeing, consent, keeping safe online, physical health and fitness and LGBT issues’.

Damian Hinds, UK Education Secretary, 2018

See what they did there?  Who can complain about children being supported towards mental wellbeing and staying safe online?  Physical health and fitness – well, it has to be promoted somewhere, so may as well be here.  But ‘LGBT issues’? Since when has an issue of conscience for religious believers – or even non-believers – been rolled up with mental and physical fitness in schools?  Is it ever appropriate to teach primary school children about LGBT – or, indeed, any sexuality issues?  Can’t children enjoy their early years without being assailed by sexual issues that they cannot understand or conceptualise?

Views about sexual behaviours have traditionally been a matter of conscience in our society.  Judeo-Christian principles have been the foundation of much of our western attitude to sexual orientation. Of course, liberal views have gained much ground in recent decades and nobody should object to changes in the law and in social norms that seek to minimise cruel and often thoughtless prejudice against LGBT individuals.  But squashing prejudice and supporting LGBT people does not equate to teaching primary school children about LGBT issues.

Damian Hinds again:

Under the updated guidance, teachers will talk to primary school pupils in an age appropriate way about the features of healthy friendships, family relationships and other relationships they are likely to encounter’. 

Right.  But who decides what is an ‘age-appropriate way’? And is there an age-appropriate way to talk to primary school children about LGBT issues?  What can you say that won’t bring up difficult questions and probably some fears?

This is not education.  It is activism.  It is propaganda dressed up as ‘health’.  The primary school is no place for the delivery of propaganda fuelled by minority interest groups into the minds of small children. Parents – whether you agree with their views or not – are the rightful ‘feeders’ of what goes into their children’s minds when it comes to issues of belief and conscience. There is plenty of opportunity later in life for secondary pupils to be faced with challenges to their family’s views – this is how education has always worked.  What we are seeing now is a move towards the state dictating what information can be fed to our children – even when the parents don’t agree with that information.

This is scary stuff.  If you are not worried about this – you should be. The principle is being applied here in relation to LGBT issues.  But how long will it be before the state starts to dictate what you can believe in your church, temple or synagogue? And after that, your home?

‘But it’s not activism or propaganda, it’s equality!’.

Really?  Isn’t it all about catching impressionable minds when they are young enough not to question what they are told in school?  And worse – it’s about sowing the seeds of confusion and doubt in the minds of small children about the truth of what their families believe.  That’s a recipe for the breakdown of family bonds and ultimately, non-state approved cultural values.  Could it possibly be that this is the true aim of this ‘teaching’ in primary schools?

‘But parents will be consulted!’.

I don’t doubt it.  But consultation does not mean that those doing the consulting will actually listen to those being consulted, does it? Claims of ‘consultation’ are yet another tactic in the liberal battle to influence culture change.  If you have been ‘consulted’, you can’t say you have not been ‘heard’.  Of course, this does not mean that your voice being ‘heard’ will result in your views being accommodated. Worse, if you object, you are automatically ‘phobic’ about something.

We’ve all seen news photos recently of drag queens telling stories to nursery school children in parts of England.  In 2017, the London Early Years Foundation’s nurseries welcomed Drag Queen Story Time (DQST) to ‘connect children and drag queens through a programme of storytelling and interactive events’.

Do children need to be ‘connected’ to drag queens?  Since when?  And God knows what the ‘interactive events’ consisted of.

The London Early Years Foundation said:

“All of our nurseries are geared to giving children the best and equal start in life no matter what their background is. DQST is all about opening our doors so that every single member of our community is included [if we want to be picky, we could ask them if all the local criminals and sex offenders are also included in this invitation – but hey, let’s not enter the realms of fantasy] and we fully embrace this. By providing spaces in which children are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions, it allows them to imagine the world in which people can present as they wish.” [My comments in square brackets].

One wonders how any members of their community would be fully embraced if they objected to this ‘best and equal start to life’.  And how does seeing someone ‘defy rigid gender restrictions’ give a nursery child ‘the best’ start in life?  How can nursery children assess gender difference?  All they want to see and experience are the safe and secure figures in their lives – parents, guardians, teachers and friends.  Where does allowing them to ‘imagine the world’ in a ‘non-restricted’ way cross the line into confusing and frightening them and even, arguably, stepping over into abuse of young minds that can’t process it?

Which brings us to the latest protests by Muslim parents, especially in Birmingham, about the LGBT education issue in primary schools.  It’s been entertaining watching The Guardian and the BBC squirm on the hook as they are faced with ‘impartial’ reporting on the beliefs of this particular community as they are put into action.  How do you report on actions and beliefs that you fundamentally object to, when they are espoused by a ‘community’ you see and treat as victims of white oppression?  Carefully.

If these highly vocal protests were being orchestrated by Christian parents instead of Muslim ones, could we be assured of seeing such measured reporting?  I doubt it.  But anyway –  it’s surely time for the silent majority of Christians outside the urban bubbles of Britain to take a leaf out of these Muslim parents’ books and start protesting too.  It has taken Muslim parents to stand up against this propaganda and say ‘no’ to their young children being exposed to information that goes against their beliefs.

Where are the protesting Christians?  Where are the protesting churches?

There is a world of difference between presenting secondary school age children with this sort of ‘teaching’ and doing the same to primary school children.  Even the youngest of secondary age children should be exposed to this material with the greatest of care and sensitivity.  But parents must be the ultimate source of teaching for their primary age children on issues such as sexual orientation.  This does not mean that parents will all rush to teach their children to ‘hate’ people who are different.  Sadly, a tiny minority may do so, but their children will still grow up in a largely secular society that will furnish them with plenty of chances to change their views as they grow into adulthood.  Or are we saying that religious parents are ‘radicalising’ their children out of British values?

What did OFSTED have to say about the Birmingham parents?

In a report, Ofsted’s senior inspector Peter Humphries said: “A very small, but vocal, minority of parents are not clear about the [Parkfield Community School] school’s vision, policies and practice [oh, I think they are, Peter].  This group of parents feel that staff do not sufficiently listen to their concerns. Their view is that PSHE education and equalities curriculum focuses disproportionately on LGBT issues and that this work is not taught in an age-appropriate manner. Inspectors found no evidence this was the case.”

So there you have it.  OFSTED says it’s all ok. Despite around 600 children being kept off school in protest. I’d like to know what the evidence is that proves the parents’ fears were unfounded.  The chief inspector of OFSTED, Amanda Spielman, said that ‘it was vital children knew about ‘families that have two mummies or two daddies’.  Don’t they think that kiddies notice on their own that some families are different than others?  But this is a world away from telling the same kiddies that these differences are all part of a menu of options that they can somehow choose from when they are grown up.

Interestingly, Parkfield Community School states on its website that

‘We use the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to give us a framework to ensure all pupils receive a good education, are safe, confident and happy in our care and have a strong moral compass’.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  But I’m wondering if the Head has read Article 14 of the said convention, which states:

Article 14 1. [Countries] shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
2. [Countries] shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child.
3. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals, or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

I am not persuaded that objecting to the teaching of LGBT ‘issues’ in primary schools is an infringement of anyone’s rights, or that it causes threats to public safety, order, health or morals.  But teaching this propaganda is certainly an infringement on the freedoms of parents to lead their children’s development along the lines of their religious beliefs.  But I suppose we should just ignore Article 14, as it doesn’t really fit with the liberal argument, does it?

In the end, this is about the state telling people what to think and what to consider ‘normal’.  That’s all well and good in theory, but we all know that there are many alternative views out there about sexuality. Crucially, disagreeing with an ideology does not equate to prejudice, discrimination or hate towards individuals.  It’s not just ‘religious people’ who are concerned about what is being told to their small children.  There are plenty of non-religious folks out there who are also concerned about this. Tolerance does not mean indoctrination.

By all means discuss sexual orientation and different family types in secondary schools – but in appropriate ways, as teens vary in their maturity and ability to assess arguments and come to decisions while having their values contested.

But absolutely not in primary schools.

 

 

 

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