Morality teaching has gone too far

Morality teaching has gone too far

Two years ago the Department for Education introduced a new framework for the teaching of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in secondary schools.

The intent might have been understandable and welcomed, but the result is hard to understand and unwelcome.

It has led to a variety of education ‘providers’ supplying schools with assets that include coverage of extreme sex acts and misleading information.

While this will surprise parents, they will also perhaps be shocked that some teachers feel it is their role to impart ‘morality lessons’ to children.

I have seen this become more prevalent in recent years – the idea that schools should not only teach the biological processes of sex but advise on morality.

It is not their job.

I learnt about the biology of sex at school, and children need to know and understand the facts of life.

At no point during my schooling did the teacher imparting this information give his views on the kind of sexual activity that was appropriate or inappropriate.

This was off-limits.

This clarity is what we need today. It prevents teachers imparting their own moral code to children, which may or may not be in line with parental approval.

The fact the state has crossed this line causes potential conflict in the home as parents are saying one thing and schools another.

In my opinion it is up to the parents to impart moral education about sex – and not the state.

The attitudes of most of the society – or the minorities in some cases – should not be dictating the agenda, and this is what’s happening.

I used to teach Religious Education and I was always very careful not to foist my views onto children.

They needed to learn about religious faith from various perspectives but were not propagandised.

I also taught them about atheism and agnosticism as positions of belief.

Children are very susceptible to the views of adults, and teachers have tremendous influence as children spend so much time at school.

I have heard many children say, it must be right because the teacher says so.

Young children do not have critical thinking skills and will accept what they are told without question.

I taught children about six major world religions in a fair and unbiased manner though I had my own views.

I never had one complaint because I wasn’t trying to force them to believe in any one set of beliefs. I didn’t teach the religion, I taught children about the religion.

I can understand why some parents are so concerned about sex education.

In the past we outlawed corporal punishment in schools because we did not think a teacher had the right to physically punish somebody else’s child.

What right do teachers have to impart their views about sex to children? None!

Yes, the government provides guidelines and there is information about responsible relationships and so forth, but it still ventures into areas that are not the responsibility of the state.

Schools do not have parental responsibility for children and this kind of interference should stop.

I say, leave it to the parents. It is their responsibility. People may say the parents can’t cope with this – WRONG!

What gives schools the right to do this?

Parents should step up and set out their moral framework for their own children.

I suspect most of them will be encouraging their children to take extreme care in their relationships and will do a far better job than any school can do.

Another dangerous area that schools have entered is teaching controversial subjects but not telling parents what it is they are imparting.

In a recent case a school was teaching about the contested and controversial theory of ‘white privilege’.

When parents heard about it and asked to see what their children were being taught, they were told the school had no obligation to share this information.

This is shocking. If schools have nothing to hide, sharing lessons plans shouldn’t be a problem.

Again, schools are attempting to impart a certain type of morality to children. It is not their job. It is the job of parents.

The encroachment of the state into the arena that previously was the preserve of the family, and any religious establishment the parents choose their children to attend is an issue that needs addressing.

Teaching facts and theories is what schools are for – imparting morality lessons is not.