Alf does not not know if it is a reliable expectation or a vain hope.
He hopes it’s the former.
It’s the Family First NZ assertion that most schools along with the parents in the school community will rightly reject the extreme elements of the new sexuality education guidelines.
Family First also says resources should be targeted at parents to help them educate their own children (presumably on the birds and bees stuff).
The statement was prompted by news that schools have been asked to consider offering gender-neutral uniforms as part of new sexuality education guidelines aimed at being more inclusive.
Dunno what this “inclusive” carry-on is all about.
But the advice from the Ministry of Education, released yesterday, looks like a load of bollocks to Alf (although bollocks is bound to be offensive to the champions of gender neutrality and Alf will be called on to apologise).
The ministry advice also suggested schools could review toilet spaces, allow same-sex partners at balls, and be aware of grouping students by gender in sports classes to help a more diverse range of students feel safe.
Does reviewing the toilet spaces mean they get rid of the “boys” and girls” dunnies in favour of something gender-neutral, like “The Bog”.
What’s this all about?
Ah. The Herald has an answer:
“While social attitudes to sexual diversity are becoming more inclusive in New Zealand, young people who identify as non-heterosexual still face many challenges in schooling environments,” the guidelines said.
“Young people who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual often feel marginalised and isolated, and experience less inclusive environments in schools.”
The new document comes after ongoing calls for better sex education in schools, the Herald report goes on, and is also a response to recommendations from the 2013 Health Select Committee which found “fragmented and uneven programmes” in schools were partly to blame for the high teen pregnancy rate.
Gender neutrality perhaps should start with neutering.
That most certainly would take care of the high teen pregnancy rate.
Alf is mindful, nevertheless, that his neutered pets remain a dog and a bitch, no matter how seriously their reproductive bits have been deactivated.
Gender differences remain, in other words, which makes ministry efforts to to distinguish between the blokes and sheilas look like nonsense .
Further nonsense is to be found in the guidelines having a further focus on consent, coercion and culture, but – at last, a glimmer of good news – they are not mandatory. This means schools can choose to adopt the practices or not.
Sex education is a compulsory part of the health curriculum, however schools are free to decide how they teach it, in consultation with their school community.
But what about those uniforms?
The guidelines said: “School uniforms can reinforce gender norms, so schools may consider offering gender-neutral clothing choices when uniforms come up for review.”
Are they serious?
How will the lads know who to sneak behind the gender-neutral dunnies for a quick snog if you can’t tell which students are boys and which ones are sheilas?
Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, is struggling to suppress his sense of outrage.
Among his many objections he says:
“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.”
He also says:
“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. Most children with gender dysphoria will not remain gender dysphoric after puberty. To push the gender agenda in schools is a dangerous step to take,” says Mr McCoskrie.
One thing he doesn’t mention is the advice that schools incorporate a Maori world view in their sex education classes.
That will be fascinating.
In Alf’s experience, the Maori world view requires the wahines to know their place. They should sit at the back and shouldn’t have speaking rights.
Sex education classes in which the sheilas sit at the back and keep their gobs shut will be a treat.