Saturday, 7 March 2009

Equal under the Law?

The man cannot be serious. But, unless he has been quoted woefully out of context, he is. Listen up to the words of wisdom of "a spokesman for Waltham Forest Council":

"As part of the borough’s policy of promoting tolerance in our schools, children are taught that everyone in our society is of equal value.

"At George Tomlinson, parents were invited to meet with teachers and governors several weeks ago to discuss what work would be taking place throughout the national LGBT History Month and how this work would be delivered.

"Regrettably, some parents chose to remove their children from school.

"The council does not condone any unauthorised absence from school and action has been taken."

The full story can be found here. But in a nutshell, a local primary school - George Tomlinson - has decided to run a LGBT awareness week. Some parents don't like the idea: a mixture, I'd guess, of closet homophobia and genuine concerns about stuffing gay sex down the throats of 8-year-olds.

So, after having their concerns listened to in the only way that Local Government knows how - which is not at all - they are taking the only action left to them.

Which is to withhold their children from school. Whereupon, instead of recognising that these are possibly the sort of parents the school MOST needs on side - because they are interested in the content of their children's education - the Local Authority puffs out its chest and goes all legal on them.

My recommendation: well, this blog is called "reciprocity", and its about the small people (us) standing up to the big people (government) by demanding reciprocal treatment.

Most schools act unlawfully when it comes to cctv. Most schools break the law a hundred different ways when it comes to health and safety. But...a blind eye is turned.

If the Local authority, in its wisdom, turns the full majesty of the law on these parents, they should be in there next week...auditing, checking...and every single legal infraction they find, they should report. And demand action be taken. Now.

They might get the school closed by Easter!

Footnote: since so many people choose to muddle ends and means. Personally, I am all for LGBT awareness: I believe in sexual diversity - probably a good deal more so than most local bureaucrats.

But there is always a debate to be had about HOW you do these things. Are weeks of awareness really the best way forward? Are they right for 8-year-olds? And most of all, when schools fall out with parents, is threatening to take them to court the only answer?

I don't know about the first couple of questions: but I do know my answer to the last. A resounding NO.

1 comment:

Professor Sapient said...

This week is not about sex, it is about equality. If they talk about slavery, racism et al why not the history of gay culture.

Equally that which would be taught about heterosexual relationships should also be taught about other kinds of relationships.

It's about time that education about these subjects drew no distinction and simply dealt with you can love who you want regardless of sex, age, colour creed or anything else.

Interesting blog as usual.