Parents should retain the “fundamental freedom” to raise their own children, MPs and campaigners have warned, saying such liberty is under threat from compulsory Relationships Education.
Under current plans, parents and guardians will not be allowed to take their children out of the lessons, which may cover issues such as homosexuality and transsexualism.
Because of this, the upcoming consultation on the proposals must put parents’ rights “ahead of the power of the state”, critics say.
The comments came in a letter to The Daily Telegraph signed by The Christian Institute’s Director Colin Hart, the Coalition for Marriage and a number of MPs and senior academics.
…a coercive and unnecessary measure damaging the position of all parents in England.
The signatories highlight that Relationships Education was originally backed by Parliament because it appeared to be aimed at protecting children from “exploitative relationships and internet predators”.
But they are now concerned that lessons will “be used to stigmatise traditional marriage and promote to children alternative lifestyles against parents’ wishes”.
“This would be a coercive and unnecessary measure damaging the position of all parents in England”, they argue.
‘Power of the state’
The letter notes that Education Secretary Justine Greening “has already spoken in favour of introducing very young children to concepts, such as homosexuality and transgenderism, at an age where these cannot be critically assessed”, without mentioning heterosexual marriage and its “well-established benefits”.
“We demand that the forthcoming consultation on relationships education puts the rights of parents ahead of the power of the state”, the letter concludes.
Relationships Education is to be taught as a statutory subject in primary schools across England and Justine Greening has the power to legislate for a secondary school subject called Relationships and Sex Education.
The Christian Institute is closely monitoring current education developments and will be updating supporters as news emerges.
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