Izzy Montague and why RSE is so controversial

29 March 2019

On Wednesday 27 March, Parliament approved the new draft regulations for Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), which will promote LGBT lifestyles to children as young as five. The Christian Legal Centre’s Roger Kiska looks at the problem of RSE in schools across the country, including the case of Izzy Montague.

Perhaps never before in this nation’s history have the dividing lines run so deep in relation to education. There appears to be a complete disconnect between government, including those in charge of education, and everyday parents.

LGBT in primary schools

This was highlighted well by one primary school governor in Chiswick who, when queried by one of our clients about why parents were not consulted when the school decided to formally partner with an LGBT campaigning group, was bold enough to say that parents are part of the problem, and not the solution. At Christian Legal Centre we deal with schools across the nation who believe education has become social proselytism and not about learning.

In Croydon alone, we have been working with parents from three different schools on issues such as forcing primary aged children to participate in a gay Pride event; participating in mandatory assemblies where the content was so sexualised that one parent came to us saying it resulted in her 7-year-old daughter being sexually touched by another child; and 4-year-olds being read same-sex parenting books like King and King, Mommy, Mama, and Me, and The Different Dragon, aimed at undermining the traditional family model through appealing cartoons and politically calculated messaging. Children have also been required to draw LGBT logos or slogans for art class. Heavers Farm Primary School proudly displays such a photo on its website, with a Year 1 pupil holding a placard she wrote which reads: “I have a dreem if bois cood go to the saim toilet as gerls.”

The campaign group Metro, which runs a chat room called “Young guys into guys”, are hosting assemblies across the country in our primary schools. For campaigners like Metro, their brand of education has nothing to do with promoting tolerance or non-discrimination; they want to change hearts and minds and promote a cultural and political cause that many parents would find age inappropriate and harmful to the development of their children.

This battle between LGBT ideologues and parents has reached the national level with the highly publicised protests in schools in Birmingham where parents en masse have protested their children being required to take part in LGBT lessons. A petition challenging the proposed RSE guidelines has also reached an astounding 115,000 signatories.

The case of Izzy Montague

This past week, with the support of the Christian Legal Centre, Izzy Montague brought 2 separate actions against Heavers Farm Primary School. The first being a complaint under the Education Act 1996, made to the Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds, calling upon him to use the powers granted him under the Act to take the appropriate measures to ensure that indoctrination on moral and political issues be stopped at Heavers Farm. The second being a civil claim against the school for systematically exposing her 5-year-old son to an LGBT-agenda based education and then harassing and victimising her and her son after she raised a complaint about her parental rights being violated by the school.

During a meeting with the head teacher of the school to discuss her complaint that her young son was being exposed to age inappropriate material and concepts, Izzy was confronted by the head’s daughter, who belligerently wore a t-shirt to the meeting with the slogan: “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic when you could just be quiet?

Two weeks later – on the very day the head teacher sent Izzy the outcome letter from that meeting, defending the actions of the school for so heavily promoting LGBT campaigning materials – Izzy’s son was placed in a 3-hour long detention. The next day he was again placed in detention. When Izzy sought answers as to why the detention had taken place and to discuss an allegation her son had made that one of the teachers had handled him roughly on his back during the detention, she was stalled and given inadequate responses, and eventually barred from the school grounds.

For my part, I wholeheartedly believe that Izzy Montague should be the face of why the proposed RSE regulations are so dangerous, and why education itself needs to be seriously re-evaluated in light of growing complaints from parents across the nation about indoctrination.

The problem of RSE

As a democratic and free nation, we tend to defer to government, believing that they are acting neutrally and in our best interests. However, what we have seen from Ofsted and the Department for Education is anything but a position of neutrality. Ofsted’s Strategy Director Luke Tryl is a former executive at the UK’s largest LGBT campaign group Stonewall. The Department for Education email signature line now embeds a large rainbow flag with the logo “I’m an LGBT+ Champion” and a note reading: “We cannot tell by looking at someone or by their name how they self-define their gender.” Entering the Westminster headquarters of the Department for Education, the visitor is met with a singular symbol among all of the glass and white walls. That symbol is not a Union Jack but a rainbow flag, which spans two floors of the building.

And this is precisely where the problem with RSE lays. As it currently stands, Relationships Education in both primary and secondary school is mandatory, even in faith schools; as is Sex Education in secondary schools. While a parent can ask to withdraw their child from Sex Education, they cannot do so for Relationships Education. Moreover, a head teacher can override a parent’s withdrawal request for basically any reason whatsoever. While the new government regulations say that head teachers may do this only under ‘exceptional circumstances’, it does not define what those circumstances are. Ultimately, that means the head teachers themselves, no matter how ideological they are, can reject a withdrawal request simply by saying that exceptional circumstances exist for doing so.

The new regulations provide a framework for what should be taught in RSE, but the actual curriculum is decided upon by the individual schools. This means that schools, such as the one’s described above in Croydon, including Heavers Farm, are empowered to employ whatever ideological materials they wish on any mature theme they want, and they can prevent parents from withdrawing their children from those lessons.

Challenging a widespread agenda

The fact is, we live in a time where people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are accepted more than ever in this country’s history. Corporations, the arts, media and even our own government departments are celebrating all things LGBT. The idea that the United Kingdom is seething with homophobic and bigoted people who need to be saved through education is false. And it’s wrong. We have excellent parents in this country. The government would do well to trust them more rather than take on their parental role.

The battle for our children is upon us. How we respond is our choice.

Find out more about Izzy Montague
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