We recently had a survey sent home with various questions but it was obvious what they really wanted feedback on after some protests were staged at schools around the country. You could send it in anonymously which I didn’t agree with so I signed mine and added a phone number. The question was how we feel about LGBT being taught in school with the kids. This has caused uproar among some communities who don’t want their kids learning about this stuff.
I put lessons in speech marks because some seem to think the kids are going to be taught the nitty gritty. I mean they don’t do lessons on the sexual act as lessons with primary kids so thinking they would do it for any other relationship is just crazy. The kids are taught about relationships and consent and healthy eating and all sorts at a level appropriate to their age group. Popples is in FS2 so they have been doing “what is a friend” where the teacher reads out something then the kids decide if it’s something a friend would do or not. They’ve done stranger danger, healthy food/treat foods, people who help us all at an age appropriate level. They discuss religions and family units too.
My kids go to a Church of England school. So they do a lot on Jesus as you’d expect. They also celebrate everything, Chinese New Year, Eid, Divali etc. There’s a mix of kids and everyone joins in with everything. The kids celebrating Eid tomorrow got greeted with “Eid Mubarak” this morning from staff and some parents. I’m waffling on now, I’m sure you get the picture.
Kids ask questions and I always tell mine the truth. Tempered for age and understanding but I won’t lie to them. We have a mix in our family, my older two have a dad from Pakistan so they are a different colour from my younger two who are part Italian so tan nicely but are white. My boys are asd so we aren’t exactly “normal” as families go. Popples noticed eye colour of her siblings before she noticed the skin colour “mummy why do I have blue eyes like you but Max and Em have brown like daddy?” The kids at school accept Oliver for who he is. They talk to him, partner up (then do all the work) play with him, some are learning Makaton they don’t see him as special needs with a label. They see him as their mate who struggles a lot but he’s been with them for 3 years. He’s just Oliver. They don’t copy his flapping or squealing, they don’t pick on him or leave him out. He’s different but the same as them. Kids accept, assimilate information and just get on with it. Mostly.
Parents are saying that learning about LGBT will confuse children, encourage them to “adopt that lifestyle”(?), corrupt them and they don’t want to ruin their innocence. Some kids come from families of single parents, step families, mum and dad, mum and mum, dad and dad, gran and grandad etc. No two families are exactly the same. What’s so wrong about talking about family set ups? What about kids further along in school who might feel they aren’t like everyone else? Why not talk about normal early on. How can you object to a story about a baby penguin with 2 dads. I mean a baby penguin!! How cute is that. And yes that is the kind of thing people are objecting too. Like I said it’s totally age appropriate.
Our family isn’t like everyone else’s. We love each other. We support each other. I don’t mind if my kids come home with questions, I’ll answer them. I don’t mind them being taught and teaching them that everyone is different but everyone is the same. My sons are autistic, I’ve seen how they’ve been treated for being different. Mainly by adults. I know many have faced challenges for being different, whether that be colour, creed, disability so I think education can only be a good thing.
These lessons will not “turn them gay” as some claim. They will give them an understanding into how people can feel different and how difficult that can be and how we can make it easier. Do we want to go back to the days where people were scared to “come out” or had to live a lie at great mental cost.
Our school is supposed to be all about inclusion. God loves us all. And if we’re all made in his image then how can any of us be wrong?
I think I’ve lost my way a bit here. Babies aren’t born with hate and prejudice. Why would you want to teach that but not love, acceptance and friendship? Isn’t the hope that people find love more important than who they find it with?
ps I know this is a really clumsy effort but I’ve had enough of seeing crap in the news about cures etc. I hope I’ve not offended anyone from LGBT community and I’m not comparing it with a disability, I’m using the frame of reference of facing prejudice to try to make a point