“The promotion of gender identity poses significant risks to the welfare of children.”
That is according to a statement from the Irish Education Alliance (IEA), which describes itself as a “teacher organisation” aiming to “provide oversight” regarding Ireland’s education system.
In an open letter addressed to principals, teachers and school boards of management, the group hit out at proposed changes to Ireland’s SPHE curriculum, dubbing many elements of the plan “entirely inappropriate.”
“As professionals who work with children and adolescents, the health and wellbeing of our students is of paramount importance,” the group wrote.
“We have some serious concerns in relation to the proposed changes to the curriculum and
we would ask you to give this your full attention.”
GENDER IDEOLOGY “MISREPRESENTED AS FACT”
The group criticised the presence of “gender identity” and “non-binary” gender within the draft curriculum, saying that “gender identity is an ideology – not a biological fact.”
“We are all born biologically male or female,” the letter reads.
“It is an opinion or a belief that our gender identity is separate to our biological sex. While this belief may be important to some people, it is not appropriate to teach it to young teenagers as a fact.”
The group said that “confusing terminology” was being “misrepresented to school children as fact.”
“SIGNIFICANT RISKS TO THE WELFARE OF CHILDREN”
The group added that the promotion of such identities poses “significant risks to the welfare of children, who are being taught through this ideology that although biologically a male or female, they can choose to be different sex or must decide what gender to identify as.”
“Teenagers often suffer from anxiety, lack of self-esteem and may have difficulty accepting their changing bodies during puberty,” the letter continues.
“Adding extra confusion over their gender identity, is likely only to compound anxiety and confusion and in some cases cause serious psychological damage.”
“CHILDREN NOT OLD ENOUGH TO GET A TATTOO CAN CHANGE THEIR GENDER”
The group highlighted what they believed was a discrepancy in the approach to such children.
“Children who would not be considered old enough to get a tattoo are being allowed to fundamentally change their bodies through taking hormones and undergoing surgery,” they wrote.
“The recent controversy over the Tavistock Clinic in the UK is just one example. While we recognise the importance of diversity, inclusion and respect for individual choices, it is not appropriate for an ideology such as gender identity to be taught to teenagers as fact, at the risk of causing them harm.”
Notably, 129 Irish children under the age of 16 have been sent by the HSE to the controversial Tavistock clinic in the UK to receive gender treatment. Some of these children are as young as 5.
“OVER EMPHASIS ON SEXUAL ACTIVITY”
The group also called for the curriculum to “reduce the excessive focus on sexual activity,” and instead to emphasize “the importance and quality of relationships in the RSE programme.”
The group accused the plan of “promoting the pursuit of sexual pleasure for its own sake without a focus on the relationships involved,” which is a”the wrong emphasis to be giving school children.”
“EXPOSING CHILDREN TO PORNOGRAPHY”
Lastly, the letter strongly objects to including information about pornography in the RSE curriculum, saying that such material “will lead to the further sexualisation of children.”
Revamp of junior cert will see pornography and consent included on curriculum https://t.co/F6PkdZuZA3
— breakingnews.ie (@breakingnewsie) July 18, 2022
“In conclusion, several aspects of the draft SPHE/RSE curriculum, as outlined above, are
entirely inappropriate for children aged 12 to 15,” the group said.
“Under the Children First Act 2015, the interests of the child must always be paramount. We are calling on teachers, principals and boards of management, as the gatekeepers of their schools, to act now to protect the welfare of the vulnerable young people in their care as they are duty bound to do under the Children First Act.”
The group encouraged others to make a written submission to Ireland’s official curriculum body, the NCCA, via the link here. Submissions are open until Tuesday the 18th of October.
Notably, Gript has done a series of investigations into some of the controversial material currently being promoted in Irish schools, which you can read below.
For no uniform day, a secondary school in Meath has encouraged students to wear “pride” colours representing bisexual, transgender, non-binary, demisexual, & genderfluid identities, which some parents felt was "over-the-top."#gripthttps://t.co/SrKwB4S357
— gript (@griptmedia) November 29, 2021
An officially recommended reading list for schools, approved by Roderic O’Gorman, advises teaching boys as young as 2 that they can wear lipstick, makeup and girls’ clothes.#gripthttps://t.co/0K8uJMoITb
— gript (@griptmedia) July 20, 2022
— gript (@griptmedia) July 27, 2022
Irish teachers have been encouraged to learn about “crossdressing” for “erotic enjoyment,” as well as “drag,” and “gender-fluid” identities by the Department of Education when preparing RSE & SPHE lessons for primary students.#gripthttps://t.co/b93l3tPd2U
— gript (@griptmedia) July 6, 2022
— gript (@griptmedia) July 15, 2022
Ireland’s curriculum body advised teachers to hold classroom exercises dividing children along class & racial lines, based on questions about ones’ race, household income, whether they were sexually abused by a family member, & more.#gripthttps://t.co/VH0UWbhkrr
— gript (@griptmedia) August 8, 2022
Teachers’ guides from Ireland's official curriculum body include tips for students to organise radical feminist protests, & encourage students to challenge “the patriarchy” – the idea that men run society for the systematic oppression of women.#gripthttps://t.co/8L1xTBWVqo
— gript (@griptmedia) July 14, 2022
The Irish National Teachers' Organisation video, where the narrator introduces school children to “non-binary” identities (where people don’t identify as a boy or a girl), seems to have been removed.
The animated piece was aimed at young children. https://t.co/WClamRSXlP
— gript (@griptmedia) September 5, 2022