Parents Vow to Fight ‘Dangerous Woke Agenda’ After Losing Mandatory Relationships and Sexuality Education Case

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Parents fighting compulsory sex education in Wales, which the government says will “gradually empower learners” from a young age in subjects such as equity, sex, gender, and sexuality, have lost a judicial review.

Child protection advocates Public Child Protection Wales had tried to overturn Wales’s Labour-led administration’s compulsory Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) lessons for pupils aged 3–16 years.

The campaigners sought a judicial review against the RSE curriculum.

But the High Court ruled on Thursday that the Welsh Government’s mandatory RSE lessons do not conflict with parental rights.

‘Indoctrination’

It also ruled in favour of Welsh ministers that the content of RSE did not “breach the prohibition on indoctrination” and said the policy was intended to be “inclusive” and to “reflect diversity.”

In a written judgment, Justice Steyn said: “In my judgment, the content of the code and the guidance is consistent with the requirement to take care to ensure that RSE teaching is conveyed in an objective critical and pluralistic manner, and does not breach the prohibition on indoctrination.

“There is nothing in the code or the guidance that authorises or positively approves teaching that advocates or promotes any particular identity or sexual lifestyle over another, or that encourages children to self-identify in a particular way.”

Steyn said that “the case law and texts relied upon by the claimants do not support the existence of a fundamental common law right of excusal. I reject the contention that such a right exists.”

The team said it is preparing the appeal.

RSE

The Welsh government says that RSE is “designed to safeguard all our children and young people, supporting them to develop knowledge, skills, and behaviours that will assist in protecting them throughout their lives and enhance their well-being,” and that it is “age and developmentally appropriate.”

RSE has entirely removed the word “sex” from its curriculum along with the terms “male,” “female,” “boys,” “girls,” “straight,” or “heterosexual.”

Children will also learn about “relationships, rights, equity, sex, gender, sexuality, bodies, body image, sexual health, well-being as well as violence, safety, and support.”

“We are disappointed that they actually dismissed everything we had said,” Lucia Thomas, co-founder of Public Child Protection Wales, told The Epoch Times.

“We know from evidence from schools children are being shut down if they have a difference of opinion from what the agenda tells them,” she said, adding that they have heard from children who have been sent out for saying there are “only two genders.”

“Parents don’t have the right they thought they did. Having the opt-out, that would have been good, but that wasn’t enough for us because we want this out altogether,” she added.

Thomas called RSE “indoctrination” and said she was concerned that the judgment did not take into account that the Welsh government sought RSE guidance from an academic inspired by “feminist, queer, and new materialist posthumanist” theory.

In 2017, professor Emma Renold chaired a panel, established by the Welsh government, to provide advice on the sex and relationships element (SRE) of the “health and well-being” area of learning.

Part of its recommendations suggested that SRE (pdf), which was later renamed to RSE, is “often too biological, too negative, and not enough focus is placed on rights, equity, emotions, and relationships” and that “there are not enough opportunities for children and young people to influence what they learn in SRE.”

The panel added that RSE is “rarely inclusive and too heteronormative.”

In 2020, Renold launched a resource designed to prepare teachers for RSE called Crush, which has materials for children aged 7 onwards containing aspects of queer theory, an ideology that insists that biological sex is socially constructed, and that gender can be wrongly assigned at birth.

“We think these views are very extreme when it comes to sexuality and transgenderism, and these are the types of people who have more influence over our children’s education than we the parents,” said Thomas.

Kim Isherwood, one of the claimants and Public Child Protection Wales co-founder said that “the team is preparing the appeal, the higher the court the louder the message.”

“This is not a loss; this is another level of exposure.”

“We look forward to another court hearing in the coming weeks where we will fight all the harder to protect our children from a dangerous woke agenda gone off the rails,” she added.

‘Promote Respect and Healthy Relationships’

The ruling was welcomed by teaching unions and the NSPCC. Welsh education minister Jeremy Miles also welcomed the ruling and said RSE was intended to “keep children safe and to promote respect and healthy relationships.”

“Now more than ever, our children need our help in protecting them from harmful content and people online,” he said.

“RSE should provide young people with confidence to say no to bullies, to call out harassment, and to understand that families come in all shapes and sizes.

“I want parents to understand what is being taught and what resources are being used, and for schools to take the time to have those discussions with parents. This will require time, patience and confidence-building.”

The Epoch Times has contacted professor Emma Renold for comment.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Owen Evans

Owen Evans is a UK-based journalist covering a wide range of national stories, with a particular interest in civil liberties and free speech.



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