Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Education, Education, Education

From Times Online
March 7, 2009
Parents face prosecution over 'gay' education class protest
Sara Dixon

PARENTS who took their children out of school to prevent them being taught about lesbian, gay and transgender relationships are facing prosecution.

Around 30 pupils from an east London primary school were absent from a week of special lessons to highlight non-heterosexual partnerships.

To mark the event some students watched a special adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet retitled Romeo and Julian.

Stories covered in the lessons at George Tomlinson School included a fairytale about a prince who turns down three princesses before falling in love with one of their brothers and the tale of Roy and Silo - two male penguins who fall in love.

The protesting parents said the content was more appropriate for secondary school pupils and now they face possible court action.

Some of the parents said they informed the Leytonstone school they were removing their children for the week.

Pervez Latif, whose children Saleh, ten, and Abdur-Rahim, nine, attend the school, said both Christian and Muslim parents objected to the theme linked to Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History Month.

Mr Latif is quoted as saying: “I didn’t want my children to be learning about this.

“I wrote a letter to the chairman of the governors explaining that I would be taking my children out of school and he wrote back saying that there was no other option.”

He added parents were informed of the lessons by newsletter.

Sarah Saeed, 40, also took her eight-year-old daughter out of school during the week. She claims she told the school she would remove her daughter if they went ahead with their plans.

She is quoted as saying: “It is not an appropriate age for the children to be learning such matters.

“She has a 100 per cent attendance record otherwise. This is the only time and this is the only choice I had.”

Officials at Waltham Forest Council said there were unauthorised absences from George Tomlinson School when it covered topics relevant to lesbian, gay and transgender history.

They said action had been taken against the protesting parents but are currently refusing to say how they plan to punish them.

Mr Latif reportedly said his wife feared it could end with them having to defend their decision in court as their children are being treated as truants.

To deal with truant pupils Waltham Forest Council can make parents can sign a contract, impose fines or bring them to court.

A nice attempt to try to make this into a Muslim intolerance issue, rather than a righteous grievance on the part of parents who want to determine what moral issues their children learn about at school. Objecting to an entire week 'learning' about Romeo and Julian is now deemed a thoughtcrime. Reminds me of what Socrates tells Glaucon in The Republic:
'All citizens above the age of ten must be expelled from the city and deported somewhere into the country: and the children who are now free from the influence of the manners and habits of their parents must be taken over. They must be educated in the ways [of true philosophy], and, according to the laws, which we have described.'
Of course, the philosophers are not expelled: they remain to teach the children how they should be thinking, away from parental interference.

6 comments:

  1. Parents have no rights anymore - don't these people realize this? It's time the state took over the role of parenting all together.

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  2. I don't think they do, no; somewhere in there beneath all that apathy there's a querulous little voice demanding some liberty. Unfortunately, 'they' sold liberty for security a long time ago. As Lenin said: give me a child of four and I will build a Socialist state...

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  3. As Lenin said: give me a child of four and I will build a Socialist state...

    I don't know about Brown but Mandy's desired age is around 11 so I hear.

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  4. The worrying thing is that one gets the impression that a lot of parents are not concerned that the State thinks it owns their children.

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  5. Ugh, Oldrightie: don't make me shudder.
    A lot of parents don't have the first clue about liberty in general; they're content to accept the status quo and perceive Statist encroaching as a bit inconvenient. Then they forget about it until the morning they pull back their curtains and see the barbed wire.
    The sooner we vote this bunch of ludicrosities out of office, the better; just as long as we don't replace them with more of same. If only David Davis were leading the Conservative party; then we could be assured of real change and a commitment to freedoms.

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  6. Normally you're allowed to take your kids out of anything 'sex educational' - but they snuck this through as 'history' rather than sex education or PSHE or some other god awful acronym class, which I thought was a little cheeky.

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Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat -Ralph Ellison