In the wake of the emerging scandal over allegations of child-on-child sexual harassment and abuse, including rape, VfJUK has written to the Secretary of State for Education, the Chairman of the Education Select Committee, and the Prime Minister, calling for urgent review of RSHE policy and for the removal of all materials that prioritise the liberal agenda over child safety and protection.
The truth is that Sex education over the last three decades has focused on teaching children the mechanics and supposedly ‘safe’ practice of sex without any element of moral guidance that might imply what educationalists brand ‘judgment’. Contraceptive advice, including free provision of the so-called Morning-after pill and the normalisation of abortion, when all else fails, as well as ‘choice’, variety, and sexual inclusivity have all been key parts of delivery.
Yet far from keeping children safe, such teaching has only succeeded in prematurely sexualising boys and girls alike, encouraging them to unhealthy experimentation. As a result, children have been robbed of their innocence and taught to be promiscuous, leading to what doctors have described as epidemic rates of STIs amongst teenagers (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/an-sti-is-diagnosed-in-a-young-person-every-4-minutes-in-england), and, even prior to Covid, soaring rates of mental illness (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/better-mental-health-jsna-toolkit/5-children-and-young-people).
We live in a highly sexualised culture, and most of us want children to be kept safe. But this is hard. No question. After all, from the time children take their first steps, they are bombarded with the message that sex is a god, demanding unquestioned worship and that, to succeed, they must take part in adulation of this rapacious and gluttonous deity; they must be ‘attractive’, and they must indulge. This is the message pumped out on TV, in film, and over the internet. But education should not be reinforcing this message. Education should rather teach children what really matters in life, and the things that will bring them true success, happiness, and fulfilment. It should teach them, as priority, the values of relationship, faithfulness, commitment, loyalty, truth and genuine respect for all – which includes themselves. It should teach them that, no matter the message of popular culture, sex is too precious a gift to be wasted.
Please write to your MP today, expressing your concern over RSHE policy, and calling for an urgent review of the curriculum and materials used. Make the point that child welfare and safety must be prioritised over the promotion and normalisation of so-called liberal values primarily aimed at justifying adult behaviours and life-style choices. Please ask your MP to pass on your concerns to the Secretary of State for Education, and the Prime Minister. Ask that they let you know the response.
Education, the Chairman of the Education Committee,
and to the Prime Minister
Dear (Mr Williamson/Mr Halfon/Mr Johnson),
Much has made in the press recently of the horrific reports of child-on-child sexual abuse and harassment across the nation’s schools, with the Everyone’s Invited website reporting over 11,500 testimonies of abuse and rape.
Why is anyone surprised?
VfJUK has continually warned Government that teaching children the mechanics of sex without any kind of moral frame, reinforced by the message that it’s fine to have sex as soon as they feel ready, was a recipe for disaster. Our book, What Are They Teaching The Children?, a copy of which was sent to all MPS and members of the House of Lords when it was published in 2017, clearly delineated the problem and recommended measures that would prioritise child safety and welfare over the promotion of damaging ideology, that serves only to sexualise children and expose them to harm. We even drew attention to the alarming rise in child-on-child sex abuse incidents within schools being reported by the police at the time, some involving children as young as 5.
When policies that prematurely sexualise children and destroy their innocence are promoted, as in current RSHE policy, we cannot expect young people to act with restraint, or demonstrate any ‘values’ other than those built around the expectation of absolute and immediate personal gratification?
To combat the problems and protect children, therefore, we need urgent and radical overhaul of RSHE policy and teaching. In particular, children need to be taught the values of relationship, commitment, faithfulness, truth, honour – and that they are all infinitely precious. They must be taught not to waste the ‘gift’ of sex.
As a society we are charged with protecting and educating our young, so that they grow into well-rounded and happy individuals who can take their place in society and contribute to the general good. When, as a society, and as an incident of Government policy, we normalise and promote sexual licence and promiscuity – when we teach our children to be corrupt – ours is the fault when they put into practice what they have been taught. I urge you, as a matter or priority, to review RSHE policy and remove all materials that prioritise the liberal agenda over child safety and protection.
Revd Lynda Rose
CEO, Voice for Justice UK
Using your own words, please feel free to use any of the points included, but please don’t copy verbatim, or your letter will be ignored.