Schools across the country have just finished celebrating Diversity Week. How was it, I wonder, for your children or grandchildren?
Initiated in 2016 by Just Like Us, ‘the charity for LGBT+ young people’, the event aims to ‘empower schools across the UK to tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia’. It has the full backing of government. This year the prime minister, Theresa May, gave it her personal support:
We all do better and our whole country is enriched when we are free to be ourselves.
How right she appears to be, and how morally virtuous! If her Christian upbringing and background have taught her anything, it is that we should treat others the way we would wish to be treated. This is, indeed, the ‘golden rule’ of most religious belief.
It is also at the heart of the so-called British Values agenda that, these days, schools are required to promote. Ever keen to ensure that teachers are on message, the Just Like Us charity has been encouraging schools to invite its ‘professionally trained ambassadors’ into classrooms as it busies itself promoting support materials. Its PowerPoint presentation is especially persuasive and provides a host of activities to engage and to persuade children.
Year 8 pupils (aged 13-14), for example, are encouraged to create pro-LGBT ‘advice’ posters with the promise that, as a reward, the best ‘will be displayed around the school’. The intention is ‘to reinforce messages about tolerance and acceptance’.
It seems, though, that the definition of tolerance on offer to youngsters is rather less inclusive than one might suppose. The ‘LGBT+ QUIZ’ for pupils, for example, veers towards cultural supremacism, xenophobia and elitism. Poor old ‘Johnny Foreigner’ comes out very badly in questions such as this one:
Question: In how many countries are same-sex relationships criminalised? a) 34 b) 12 c) 54 d) 72
Answer: 72 – in 8 of these countries homosexuality is still punishable with the death penalty.
So 72 countries around the world are categorised as, at best, baddies and, at worst, wicked. Is it not a trifle ‘intolerant’, even malevolent, to persuade children to categorise other human beings in this way? This damnation of hundreds of millions of people around the globe is a hate crime rather more than a statement of ‘rainbow love’.
And even in so-called liberal democratic countries, such as the UK, plenty of citizens oppose the promotion of homosexuality, gay marriage and gender diversity. The Roman Catholic catechism is illustrative. It condemns homosexual acts as sinful. Other religions hold the same view.
Since respect and tolerance for the opinions of those with whom we disagree is central to British values, why are schools in general, and Diversity Week in particular, not explaining the views of those who, within and beyond these shores, hold a different opinion?
The Just Like Us website proudly boasts:
What Ofsted says:
[School Diversity Week] demonstrates leaders’ commitment to raising pupils’ awareness and enhancing their personal development and welfare, including their tolerance and respect for others.
Woodbridge High School Ofsted Report (website’s emphasis)
This is a very great deceit. Behind the veneer of virtue and the stance of moral superiority lies a nasty truth about Diversity Week and the educational stormtroopers promoting it. The price we must pay for kindness and understanding for some is intolerance and disrespect for many. Whited sepulchres and hypocrites come to mind!