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Parents may lose right to remove kids from explicit sex-ed, curriculum report hints 

Parents need to wake up to radical changes being proposed to the school curriculum – and to moves which might deny parents the right to remove their children from new sex-ed lessons which could include pornography and teaching children their gender can be changed many times.

In regard to these changes, a recent draft report from the national curriculum body, the NCCA, has adopted a remarkably dismissive tone of the views of parents.

What’s more, the report even hints that mothers and fathers might not be ‘entitled’ to withdraw children from classes which are at odds with their family’s values.

The clash between parents and those who are seeking to make sex-education more explicit and have it include dangerous nonsense such as gender ideology, has been brewing for some time.

There are currently several bills before the Dáil seeking to make radical changes to the school curriculum, and some TDs want the right to insist that all schools must follow the ethos decided by the authorities – and dictated by extreme left in People Before Profit or the oddballs in Social Democrats.

That’s a key point for parents to understand.

All RSE programmes are values-based. Everything being taught, apart from basic biology, takes a moral position – so what Bríd Smith et al are looking for isn’t actually values-free education, they just want their values taught instead of yours.

And now, the NCCA seems to be dismissing the concerns expressed by thousands of parents, while referring favourably to submissions made by all sorts of taxpayer-funded NGOs who have some very distorted ideas about what your kids should be taught in schools.

The worldview of some very odd and sometimes downright creepy people, in my opinion, may soon be being taught in schools to your children – by an authority figure, a teacher, who will be obliged to follow the new curriculum, whatever the ethos of the school, if the assorted NGOs and lunatic hangers-on get their way.

So, for example, your child might be taught that they need to be “porn literate” and be required to take part in “porn literacy workshops” – an example of which recently drew public attention for including terms like  ‘gang bang’, ‘hardcore’, ‘ass eating’, and the pornographic slang term ‘milf’.

The same people pushing those workshops also want to talk to primary school children (as young as 8, typically 11) about ‘masturbation and self-pleasuring’, as evidenced by a recent TV interview discussing the issue.

In its submission to the NCCA, the Transgender Equality Network of Ireland says that it welcomes “education around pornography” and hopes that “content on pornography does not shame or stigmatise [its] use.”

A lot of parents will think that people with these views shouldn’t be let within an asses roar of a school. Yet, the NCCA draft report – which will be used to suggest changes to the course – seems to lean more favourably towards NGOs making such recommendations, than the parents opposing them.

Pornography isn’t the only concern: there’s the minefield that is gender ideology, something that the NCCA may try to infuse through many aspects of the curriculum, which will make it extremely difficult for parents who don’t want their child to be taught unscientific dogma.

The NCCA has made it clear already that they are on the side of those who want us all to pretend that gender is just a spectrum – and that Johnny can be Jane tomorrow and Johnny again the next day. For the avoidance of doubt, the NCCA’s SPHE draft specification spells out that students should be able to ‘appreciate that sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are core parts of human identity and that each is experienced along a spectrum’.

No actually, they shouldn’t. There’s a world of difference between being kind and understanding towards a student with gender dysphoria and obliging every student to believe that being a girl or a boy is a social construct which was forced on them.

Have we all lost our collective minds, or are we really going to allow a teacher to tell school kids that they are ‘cisgender’ – that they had a sex assigned to them at birth – and that children can change their gender, and that people can be gender fluid, changing sex from day to day or even hour to hour?

It might all sound like nonsense, but as one SPHE teacher warned last week, it is actually dangerous and can cause children harm.

SPHE teacher, Mary Creedon, told Newstalk that  said that there was an “ongoing trend” in education of  ‘over-sexualising’ children” – and that the NCCA had developed a “highly-sexualised RSE programme for 12-15 year olds with an almost obsessive focus on gender ideology”.

Ms Creedon quoted from supporting resources which said that gender was defined as a person’s felt internal and individual experience of gender, for example  “cisgender, transgender and non-binary which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth.”

“It will create huge confusion and anxiety; it will make children doubt they have been born in the right body, particularly girls who may be tomboyish or boys who are feminine,” she said.

That’s before taking into account the often irreversible harm that is caused to children by adults being in a hurry to affirm gender change when a child says they want to change sex – without taking account of other conditions such as autism, depression or eating disorders.

A great many parents will not want gender ideology taught to their children. Many more, and I am included in this number, don’t agree that the NCCA or other self-appointed authorities should feel they have the right to contradict the values we teach to our children.

Take abortion, for example. I find the views of the National Women’s Council abhorrent on this issue. Why should they have a say in how abortion is discussed with my child in school? Why should those who see the unborn child as having no rights at all be allowed to tell our children that abortion is a social good?

And why does the NCCA feel it can emphasise suggestions that the government take away a parent’s right to remove children from lessons they find either objectionable or dangerous? This is a very dangerous overreach and parents need to make themselves aware of what’s being proposed.

In the draft report, the NCCA  says that because it wishes to infuse aspects of sex-ed, such as gender ideology, across a much wider course, students would need to withdraw from the entire Social and Personal and Health education course, to avoid what was being taught.

But this difficulty was created by the NCCA’s proposed programme design, not by parents.

Yet the NCCA says that “another dimension of this tension is students’ right to a broad and balanced education, including comprehensive health education, balanced against the right of parents to withdraw their child from SPHE.”

More than 4,300 parents responded to the online consultation hosted by the NCCA. In contrast, the number of teachers, students and other agencies and groups amounted to several hundred.

It is evident that a great many parents were strongly critical of the NCCA’s proposals as outlined above. Yet it feels as if the NCCA is threatening these parents with a suggestion that the right to decide what their children get taught might be withdrawn from them.

They also noted “the view expressed by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner of Human Rights that international human rights standards on the right to freedom of religion or belief do not entitle parents to withdraw children from sexuality education classes where relevant information is conveyed in an objective and impartial manner.”

This antipathy to parents’ concerns is expressed repeatedly in the draft NCCA report – with impatient reference being made to submissions from parents which expressed very similar views.

Did the NCCA actually read the submissions made by the clatter of NGOs being paid to claim control over what our children get taught in school? They are all singing from the same hymn sheet on everything – and their objective is to inform and control your child’s worldview in a way that entirely undermines parents’ rights.

Much has been made, until now, of parental rights in regard to education, but in truth, those rights spring from something unique and important, which no amount of committees made up of self-righteous experts can replace.

Our inalienable rights as parents are based on the special relationship between us and our children, which cannot be substituted by any teacher or educator or legislator with an agenda.

From before they are born, we love our children: we raise them, care for them, protect them, and do our best to mould them into decent human beings with the values we believe are important. Parents who want that right to be retained need to wake up to what’s happening in Irish schools.

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