Monday, 14 March 2011

Mail On Sunday: Will Somebody Please Think Of The Children!

You may have heard about Stonewalls' Education For All campaign - and one of its offshoots, Different Families, Same Love.
It's no more than facing up to the fact that at many British schools children being raised by same-sex couples is now far from a rarity, so Stonewall produced some materials for teachers to think of ways to help these children feel they are accepted at school, not excluded.
Have a look at the website - it's as mild as mother's milk.
How sadly prectable for yesterday's Mail On Sunday to misrepresent this noble campaign; 'Government-funded advice pack for schools recommends lessons in cheerleading and wearing dresses - for boys aged five'.
"Children as young as five should learn about gay relationships in schools and boys should be allowed to express their feminine sides by dressing in frocks or becoming cheerleaders, according to a Government-funded initiative.
"In a training pack sent to staff in primary schools, teachers are urged to ‘celebrate difference’ by using books such as King And King, a story about a fairytale prince who kisses and marries another prince.
"Posters in the pack, including one entitled Different Families Same Love, show families with two mothers or two fathers, and a DVD quotes a teacher saying children should learn to be ‘resilient’ to the values of their parents if they disagree over gay issues."
The Christian Institute's Mike Judge is wheeled our for a quote; "Tax-paying parents expect a decent education for their little ones. Getting young boys to dress in frocks and join the cheerleading team isn’t what they have in mind."
The point spectacularly, wilfully missed.
On a shory DVD (to be watched by teachers, not children) a teacher described how during dressing-up roleplay some boys said they wanted to wear dresses, and he said "that's fine" - and a head praised boys who joined the school’s cheerleading club - hardly sinister.
The Mail has an addled memory and forgets it was celebrating schoolboy cheerleaders just a few months ago - it also pointed out then that cheerleading is taught in PE lessons in over half of British schools.
Of course "School's Gay Lessons Shocker" is a regular horror story for the Mail.
It was last rehearsing it in January; 'Gay messages built into school maths lessons for children as young as FOUR' - which in fact was a twisted fiction.
Perhaps thirty years ago they could have more easily whipped up homophobia with bilious tosh like this, but now it just makes the Mail seem cruel and hopelessly out of touch with the modern world.
Funny that.

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