We are constantly being contacted by concerned parents and being asked our opinion on the sex education curriculum in NZ schools.
We continue to warn ALL parents about:
* the new sexuality education guidelines which schools are now having professional development on,
* any programmes being run by Family Planning and Rainbow Youth,
* the new sexuality programme ‘Inside Out’, funded by the Government.
We have written to all school principals warning them about these programmes. They have also received copies of our reports mentioned below. We’ve had great feedback!
The fact that the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Education are funding and pushing this agenda with little parent involvement should concern us all. At the bottom of this special newsletter, we show you what you can do as a parent to protect your children.
1. SEXUAL POLITICS
Most schools along with the parents in the school community will rightly reject the extreme elements of the new sexuality education guidelines released earlier this year, and agree with us that resources should be targeted at parents to help them educate their own children. Primary school children as young as 5 will be indoctrinated with issues around ‘gender stereotypes and norms’, ‘sexuality and gender well-being’, ‘gender, sexuality and diversity’, and ‘gender and sexuality messages’. But most children that age – and older – simply want to play, eat and have fun. We should let children be children.
Parents will also object to these programmes targeted at children as young as five which undermine the role and values of parents, and resources which fail to take into account the emotional and physical development of each child and the values of that particular family.
Many schools will not work with Rainbow Youth because of their reputation – and rightly so. READ our research paper “R18: SEXUALITY EDUCATION IN NEW ZEALAND – A Critical Review“. And watch our short episode of Family Matters below.
2. GENDER POLITICS
Our children are being indoctrinated with the message ‘Gender refers to how you identify, someone can identify as male, female, in between, both, or neither.’ And the PPTA has told secondary schools that ‘Gender identity refers to what a person thinks of as their own gender, whether they think of themselves as a man or as a woman, irrespective of their biological sex.’ Schools are being bullied by government and advocacy groups in to adopting policies around uniforms, toilets, changing rooms, and sports teams rather than heeding the warnings and research of leading scholars and clinicians.
Among the implications of the proposals around so-called ‘gender’ issues in schools is that sex-specific facilities, including changing rooms, showers, toilets or sports teams may no longer be directed on the basis of a child’s actual biological sex. Students could pick the toilet or changing room or sports team or uniform of the gender with which they identify at that time. They give the opportunity, for example, for male students who pretend to be transgender an alibi to use girls’ toilets, showers, and changing rooms. But the expectation of parents and the children themselves is to see students of the same sex in places like changing rooms and showers.
READ the most recent example from the US where the government has told an Illinois school district that it violated anti-discrimination laws when it did not allow a transgender student who identifies as a girl and participates on a girls’ sports team to change and shower in the girls’ locker room without restrictions. How long before this happens in NZ? (Our understanding is that this is already a challenge for a number of schools and camps).
The ‘gender agenda’ will simply lead to confusion in schools. Ignoring biology is not a proper solution. What children really need is affirmation of their unique personality and appropriate treatment for their unhappiness and other presenting emotional issues.
READ our report “BOYS GIRLS OTHER – Making Sense of the Confusing New World of Gender Identity”. And watch our short episode of Family Matters below.
The report says: “Even while realising these issues are very personal and deeply felt and how they must develop empathy within us, it is unwise to allow emotions – regardless of how deeply felt – to drive the decision and policy-making process related to such issues. We must take a sober understanding and appreciation of what the leading scholars and clinicians have to tell us on these issues. Their voices should be heard more clearly and strongly than the various advocacy groups of any stripe” particularly as they impact our children.
Schools are keen to deal with the bullying issue but they are taking a full school community approach. Programmes like Inside Out are not inclusive, they are exclusive. They only focus on a very small group of students and ignore the far greater proportion of students who are bullied for the more common reasons of body image, racial background, disabilities, and academic success or failure. And of course the major prevalence of cyber-bullying. Unfortunately overweight students, students with acne or a speech impediment or a physical disability, or who are struggling academically, or students from a different culture don’t have a ‘lobby group’. Their cause is not politically sexy enough. But depression and suicide are also associated with these types of bullying.
But what is most ironic in all of this is that any student that doesn’t buy in to the group-think that is expected and dictated, even if it doesn’t affect the way they relate with other students, will immediately be bullied themselves with terms such as ‘homophobic’, ‘transphobic’, and ‘bigoted.’ Getting rid of all bullying is obviously not the key message of these groups.
3. SHODDY RESEARCH
What is also hugely concerning is that the basis for these programmes is based on what we can only call ‘shonky’ research. The Ministry of Education recently funded a study “Educating for diversity: an evaluation of a sexuality diversity workshop to address secondary school bullying.” by researchers connected with Rainbow Youth. The research is long on bias and short on hard data, including the following pitfalls:
- non-random sample – targeted at just two schools that obviously support the agenda. One school who refused to be involved rightly said that parents would be concerned about the content.
- there is no control group
- the study looks at the impact on students immediately after a one hour session. No study of the long term effects
- conflict of interest – researchers contracted by and advisers to Rainbow Youth
- no peer review
- Non-representative sample. 68% of the students were of Pacific ethnicity yet, according to the most recent Census, represent 7.4% of the population.
- The students all self-reported with no exterior objective checks. And they know they are participating in a major pro-diversity study, immediately after a session of indoctrination!
This study is light years away from any kind of representative sample. This is what real researchers call “snowball and convenience samples.” That is like what a poor grad student would use.
So we have a non-longitudinal design, inadequate sample size, biased sample selection, and lack of proper controls, funded by the government, and being touted as evidence that ‘it works and it’s needed!’.
Disturbing. The ‘agenda’ is more important than the effectiveness.
4. ARE THERE ANY PROGRAMME WE DO RECOMMEND?
Glad you asked! Yes – we would recommend the Attitude programme for schools. Attitude – the youth education division of The Parenting Place (founded by Ian and Mary Grant) – has the objectives of encouraging mental and emotional resilience and helping prevent youth suicide, teen pregnancy, bullying, drug and alcohol abuse and low self-esteem. They also offer parent and child presentations. Why not check and see whether the Attitude programme is being used in your child’s school.
WHAT CAN PARENTS DO?
Parental involvement is key, but parents are being excluded from the decision making process and development of most of the programmes we are warning you about, and that are being pushed in schools. That should concern all families.
We’ve written a summary of your legal rights HERE
But the bottom line is that:
* Schools MUST inform you in advance when these programmes are being presented, and
* You can withdraw your children from these sessions.
Parents/caregivers may write to the principal requesting to have their child excluded from any particular element of sexuality education in a health education programme. The principal is required to ensure that the student is excluded from the relevant tuition and that the student is supervised during that time.
We hope this information helps you make an informed decision. Most schools will rightly reject the extremist elements of this sexuality and gender material, but why not just make sure! Check whether your school Principal has read our sex education report and our gender report. We can send you a copy. Also remember that the Board of Trustees is a group of parents who are likely to share your concerns.
Please pass on this important information to other families.
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