Friday, June 01, 2007

Lecturers call for Sex Ed in Church schools

Briefing. Radical proposals from a lecturers' trade union is not of the highest significance, but in this case they are expressing a view widely held among the 'chattering classes': Church schools should not be allowed to teach morality, lest they offend anyone.

From CFNews: Schools should be banned from promoting traditional marriage in sex education lessons for fear of discriminating against gay and lesbian children, British academics claim. The biggest lecturers' union has criticised teachers who champion heterosexual wedlock for instilling "negative images" of same-sex relationships. Existing government guidance says that teachers should emphasise the importance of marriage to promote a stable family life. But the University and College Union said schools should prohibit any lessons which "negatively characterise" the identity and lifestyle of homosexual or bisexual teenagers. They also criticised new equality laws - intended to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation - insisting that faith schools are still allowed to teach that homosexuality is a sin. Addressing the UCU annual conference in Bournemouth yesterday, Alan Whitaker, a lecturer at Oxford Cherwell Valley College, said: "They [the new regulations] did nothing to stop the negative characterisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender lifestyles by teachers. The regulations actually say that there is nothing to stop teachers proclaiming the superiority of heterosexual marriage. The regulations say it's unlawful to characterise same-sex relationships as inferior. But to my mind it's rather difficult to see how you can do the one without implying you are doing the other."
Members of the 120,000-strong UCU passed a motion calling for a prohibition on teachers who negatively portray same-sex relationships, which they described as an "incitement to hatred". "If attitudes are to change that will come about as a result of education," said Mr Whitaker. "And that makes it vitally important that teachers do not instil negative images of same-sex relationships and transgender people in those that they teach." The Government's existing sex education guidance, published in 2000, highlights the "importance of marriage for family life", but under the Sexual Orientation Regulations 2007, schools cannot discriminate against gay, bisexual or lesbian children or parents during the admissions process and in decisions over exclusion. They also cannot subject them to "any detriment" in lessons. Nevertheless, faith schools are still allowed to teach that the Bible describes homosexuality as a sin. Speaking last year, Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham and head of the Catholic Education Service, said the classroom must not be a "morally neutral" zone on issues like homosexuality. Stephen Desmond, from Thames Valley University, told the UCU conference: "We must never allow freedom of religion to be hijacked and used as a pretext to discriminate against gay and lesbian teenagers in schools."

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen