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“Not inclusive” – the sex ed motion that INTO refused to allow to be debated

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) refused to allow a motion, calling on the union to express ‘serious concerns’ about the teaching of gender ideology to young children, to be discussed at their recent annual congress as the motion was deemed not to be ‘inclusive.’

The motion was put forward for consideration by the Gorey Branch of the INTO, but was ruled to be ‘out of order’ for breaching unspecified rules and for being non-inclusive.

The INTO Standing Orders Committee told the branch that the motion would not be considered as it breached the rules and objectives of the INTO and ‘did not uphold’ the ‘inclusive nature’ of the INTO. It’s understood that requests from Branch members, asking the INTO to tell them exactly which policies the motion was in contravention of, went unanswered.

The Gorey Branch motion called on the INTO to write to the NCCA, who advice the Minister for Education on changes to the Irish curriculum, and the Department of Education and Skills, to express ‘serious concerns in relation to the proposed changes to the RSE curriculum, with the introduction of Gender Ideology, as proposed by the NCCA.’ RSE in this instance stands for ‘relationship and sex education.’

The motion also called on the INTO to acknowledge that ‘Irish schools are already inclusive spaces,’ but that gender ideology has been deeply divisive in schools in both the US and the UK. The motion stated that it accepted some people honestly believe that biological sex is separate from gender identity, but that the INTO should hold the view that “it is not appropriate to teach it to young children as a fact.’

One member of the Gorey Branch of the INTO took to Facebook to say that it was “disappointing” that the union had refused to consider the motion, but that “it’s an issue that the parents of Ireland will undoubtedly be addressing over the years ahead.”

The INTO instead considered a motion which called on the union to ‘condemn’ comments made by the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association (CPSMA) earlier this year. In January the CPSMA privately wrote to Minister Roderick O’Gorman and Minister Norma Foley to outline concerns they had regarding the teaching of certain aspects of gender ideology to young children; that letter was later leaked to the press and became the subject of considerable media and political attention.

RTE’s Education Correspondent Emma O’Kelly reported that the CPSMA motion was heard in a private session, which media were excluded from, “such is the sensitivity of the issue and the concern about potential far-right attacks.” According to O’Kelly “RTE News understands that it received very strong support from delegates.”

In March of this year O’Kelly herself falsely stated, on RTE’s News at Six, that some of the concerns laid out in the CPSMA letter had been ‘debunked’ by a prestigious medical association.

We have asked the INTO what rules and policies were broken by the motion, and if it usual for the INTO to refuse to allow discussions of matters of legitimate public interest if the union deems such discussions to be non-inclusive; we will update this article should we receive a response.

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