A propaganda piece in the Sunday Star-Times opens by recounting an incident in a school playground - some students were apparently arguing about marriage, when a gay teacher on lunch duty became involved, confirming that it is legal for two men or women to marry. Perhaps it would have been constructive to help the children to understand that it is OK for people to have different views on this matter and encourage them to respect each other regardless of each person’s view. In any case, this teacher is reportedly now receiving complaints over a rainbow PRIDE flag on their classroom wall, with parents wanting her to take it down. Surely these complaints wouldn’t be a surprise. Would there be complaints if a teacher had a Buddha figure or a huge cross representing Jesus on display in their classroom? I think we know the answer to this question.
Secularists have campaigned for years to remove the optional Bible in Schools program from state schools, and where the program is still offered, parents are now required to “opt-in” their children (the program was previously “opt-out”). An important question is, should the same apply to the material being promoted by lobby rainbow groups who want to push their lifestyle - through both special lessons provided by these groups, and throughout the whole school curriculum? At least with Bible in schools, parents could opt their child out of the lessons, but the new Relationship and Sexuality guidelines have embedded lessons into all areas of the curriculum, making it impossible to opt-out. School assemblies have even been celebration places for “coming out” displays. Parents are concerned and so they should be. It is healthy for adults to want input when this topic impacts their children, yet groups like InsideOUT seem to believe they have exclusive rights to force their ideology on all children.
When I first became aware of a rainbow lobby group being given access to develop policy for the content we are teaching children, I came across a disturbing statement from the rainbow organisation where they attempted to support teaching staff smoothing over concerns from the parent community: "Be aware of religious parents or caregivers who are distressed about this topic. It is worth noting to them that you are merely offering students a range of opinions, not an absolute truth".
Sex education is controversial and a conversation our country needs to have. If parents are not being listened to and their concerns are not addressed but they are quietly swept aside or misled, then how can parents trust leaving their children in the care of the school?
Tabby Beesley, managing director of queer youth advocacy group InsideOUT, said that hate comments and emails had risen since Kellie Jay Keen (a pro-woman advocate) visited New Zealand in March. One thing I do agree with Tabby on is that schools will be put off taking part in the PRIDE week. As they should be!
The rise in comments challenging the extremist LGBT agenda in schools has occurred over several years and cannot be blamed on a visit by the pro-women activist Keen.
Beesley’s diatribe claiming that there is victimisation and hate where none exists is just an excuse to push the rainbow agenda in schools. I think it is high time Tabby reads the room and accepts that parents want her and her allies to get their hands off our children! Using hyperbolic claims of LGBT people going into hiding is absurd. LGBT has been accepted in communities for decades now - what is not accepted is forcing others to adopt a belief that is opposite to their values.
She talks about celebrating children - schools celebrate children all the time. What we don’t need to do is celebrate sexuality in schools. Sexuality is a personal private aspect of an adult, children’s schools are not the place for sexuality demonstrations, festivals, assemblies, or activities that promote one lifestyle over others, and especially not the place to be “outing” children.
New Conservative will ensure that PRIDE lobby groups do not have access to schools and controversial sex and gender content is removed from the curriculum.
Teachers leave those kids alone.
Helen Houghton Co-leader
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