SUNDAY COLUMN: Teaching Britain’s Future

Anne Marie Waters 

Sunday 11th October 2020

 

Earlier this week, I spoke to Mike Walker, For Britain’s new education spokesman.  You can view the discussion here.

As promised, I will now look in more detail at new government guidance in to teaching about relationships, sex, and health.  This is crucial.  It is crucial because it is under these headings that some teachers are propagandising; their own worldview imposed upon children.  It is also crucial to the increasing confusion and sexualisation of children in schools.

The reason that there is an apparent licence for schools to bring drag queens in to class is just such guidance.  It is vague and can effectively cover any given scenario.

‘Drag Queen Story Time’ hit the headlines earlier this year.  Its founder Thomas Canham has written that any objection to this is “pure homophobia”.  How ironic that Mr Canham is himself both homophobic in this remark, and he is creating more homophobia.

Most people in Britain today have no problem with same sex relationships, but, in equating homosexuality with drag queens, fetishes, “non-binary” nonsense, and other non-related matters, Canham is making sure that ordinary gays who don’t walk through the streets half naked, will be blamed for this crazy situation we are now in.

There is one major aspect of this issue that is glaringly absent – why?  Why is there a need for a person called “Flow Job” to talk to children in schools, while dressed outrageously?  If the idea is to tell children that gays exist, then tell them that.  Why “Flow Job”?

There is no good reason for it, it is antagonism for its own sake and it causing real damage to children.  The Mirror reports today for example on a 12 year being provided with ‘puberty blockers’ as “trans” ideas, backed with no science whatsoever, are thoroughly confusing children, who are effectively presented with a list of “identities” to choose from.  This is scandalous, and it takes place under the guise of relationship and health teaching.

The new guidance addresses some of the political bias in schools, but arguably, is equally dangerous to free speech and thought.  The teaching unions make it clear that they lean to the left – and its been clear for a long time that anyone not on the left is fair game to many teachers.  Ukip has been slandered in schools, as has Donald Trump, Brexit, and others.  But in this guidance, the Conservatives are being equally biased.

When left-wing teachers use their classroom to propagate left-wing ideas (and they do), they impose a one-sided view of the world on to children, but just as importantly, they hamper debate.  Children must be taught to think, to discuss, to oppose, to scrutinise – this is what is missing from our society and it is desperately needed.

The problem is lack of open debate and this guidance does nothing to fix that problem.

On the gender issue for example, the guidance tells us:

The Public Sector Equality Duty (as set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010) requires all public authorities (including state-funded schools) in the exercise of their function, to have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act
  • advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
  • foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

Relevant protected characteristics are:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex and sexual orientation

In summary, schools are to prevent “discrimination, harassment or victimisation” of pupils based on gender “reassignment”.  What this means is schools won’t openly debate whether transwomen are women.  They’re not.  Schools still aren’t allowed to say so.

Furthermore, religious or otherwise conservative views on homosexuality, or sexuality generally, are also stifled.

A few paragraphs later, this is included:

We are aware that topics involving gender and biological sex can be complex and sensitive matters to navigate. You should not reinforce harmful stereotypes, for instance by suggesting that children might be a different gender based on their personality and interests or the clothes they prefer to wear. Resources used in teaching about this topic must always be age-appropriate and evidence based. Materials which suggest that non-conformity to gender stereotypes should be seen as synonymous with having a different gender identity should not be used and you should not work with external agencies or organisations that produce such material. While teachers should not suggest to a child that their non-compliance with gender stereotypes means that either their personality or their body is wrong and in need of changing, teachers should always seek to treat individual students with sympathy and support.

This is good, but it’s got no teeth in the wider context of the guidance.  What are the consequences for a teacher who does propagate the trans narrative?  Plus, its confusing and inconsistent.  It’s vague.  That’s the entire point.

This is all very Tory.  It sounds good in parts, but it isn’t workable and it contradicts itself.  It makes very sure not to commit itself, except perhaps in the guidance surrounding politics.

On external agencies, the guidance states:

Schools should not under any circumstances use resources produced by organisations that take extreme political stances on matters. This is the case even if the material itself is not extreme, as the use of it could imply endorsement or support of the organisation. Examples of extreme political stances include, but are not limited to:

  • a publicly stated desire to abolish or overthrow democracy, capitalism, or to end free and fair elections
  • opposition to the right of freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of assembly or freedom of religion and conscience
  • the use or endorsement of racist, including antisemitic, language or communications
  • the encouragement or endorsement of illegal activity
  • a failure to condemn illegal activities done in their name or in support of their cause, particularly violent actions against people or property

As a democrat and a capitalist, this is an endorsement of my beliefs, but that doesn’t mean I want debate around my beliefs cancelled.  Will children never hear arguments against capitalism?  That’s just as unacceptable as socialism being driven down their throats.  Let them debate!  Let people learn for themselves what the different systems are.  I believe in capitalism not for ideological reasons but because it works.  It is tried and tested.  Let children know this, let them know about communism and socialism and fascism, and then they will realise the superiority of democracy, and they will do it with thought and information and debate, not biased teaching.

The forbidding of “racist” material also sets off alarm bells.  Not because there should be racism in schools, but because of who gets to define that word.  Is open discussion of immigration and its downside “racist”?

Religion is also protected, meaning robust debate on their teachings presumably cannot take place.

The Tories are fixing nothing with this guidance.  Like so much that emanates from the Conservative party, it is a soundbite, designed to look tough, but while having little to no impact.

Once again, children in British schools must be taught to think, not what to think.

 

Anne Marie Waters

Leader 

For Britain 

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