Children should be taught that “cancel culture” is harmful, the Department for Education (DfE) is advising.
The DfE training module on teaching “respectful relationships” says teachers need to explain the importance of “freedom of speech” in “a tolerant and free society”.
Produced to support the new Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) curriculum, the material is directed at both Primary and Secondary school levels.
‘Cancel culture’ harmful
The new teaching material asks teachers to explain that “targeting someone simply because you disagree with them” is “not acceptable” and that children must “be able to disagree” without “saying hurtful things”.
It adds: “that seeking to get people ‘cancelled’ (e.g. having them removed from their position of authority or job) simply because you disagree with them, is a form of bullying and is not acceptable.”
Cancelling individuals who hold traditional views has become more commonplace in recent years. In June children’s author Gillian Philip was sacked from her writing position for defending J.K. Rowling’s views on transgenderism.
seeking to get people ‘cancelled’… is a form of bullying and is not acceptable Department for Education
Recently, activists also urged the UK Government not to hire former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott as a trade envoy because of his previous opposition to same-sex marriage.
The training material also states that “stereotypes damage individuals” and teaches children they are “unfair, and can be limiting for the individual and for our society”.
“For example, the stereotypes of femininity and masculinity may make people think certain careers are for men and others are for women, limiting the types of jobs people think they can do.”
New DfE guidance on how to plan their RSE curriculum forbids schools from telling children they might be transgender based on gender stereotypes.
Materials which promote this view “should not be used” and schools “should not work” with groups that produce such material.