Tee's Blog

The Adventures of an American in Belfast

Lowest Common Denominator Rule and School

Catchy title, huh? Thought it up all by myself.

What does it mean?

It means I’m tired of all children being taught things in the same way. I’m tired of ‘But if school doesn’t teach X, who will? The parents don’t.’

This is coming off the back of the announcement about:

“an amendment to the Children and Families Bill currently before parliament has been tabled, which would:

” 1. Add PSHE to National Curriculum;

2. Make age appropriate SRE a statutory component of this curriculum at all 4 Key Stages;

3. Specify that same-sex relationships, sexual violence, domestic violence and sexual consent be part of the curriculum on PSHE”*

What’s my objection? I don’t think this is the job of the government or the schools. I think saying it’s the job of the government or the schools because ‘some’ parents may not do the education is, as my title says, lowest common denominator rule and school.

Why are we running our countries and our educational systems based on what the worst of the populace does? Why are we subjecting pupils who are taught this at home to the same classes as those who aren’t taught it at home?

Why? Because we, as a race of humans, seem to spend our entire lives doing our best not to offend other members of the race of humans. So it’s not possible, for that reason, to send a questionnaire home saying something like ‘Are you teaching your kids about sex and relationships?’ and then taking those kids whose parents say ‘oh hell no, they’re too young/silly/whatever’ into a class and teaching them and only them.

Granted, some parents will lie. But you know what? That’s their right.

You know what else? Who decides? Who decides what they should teach about relationships in the classroom?

I live in Northern Ireland, this isn’t a secret. Do you mean to tell me that the Catholic schools here are going to teach about same sex relationships? Sex before marriage? Any of the stuff listed above?

Of course they aren’t. They’ll object, and rightly so, on grounds that it is against the doctrine of their faith. And they are faith based schools.

What about the faith based schools in England, Scotland and Wales? Are they going to be forced to teach things against their doctrine as well?

So what’s the answer?

There isn’t one.

There is no way to teach all kids all things in the same way. It’s just not possible.

My son has some level of special need, still to be diagnosed and defined. But he gets special help in the classroom and, hopefully, will continue to do so as he goes through school.

Do I expect the entire class to be taught at his level? Of course not. That would be fucking stupid.

So why is this any different? I will teach my son about sex and relationships and two mummies and two daddies and single parents and divorce and all of those things. It is my job.

And if some parents aren’t teaching their kids this? That’s not my problem.

*Quoted from Mumsnet Guest Blog Thread

Category: daily

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