Schools Rightly Rejecting Govt’s Sex Ed

Media Release 8 May 2021
Family First says it is not surprised that less than 15% of schools are using Government funded programmes on sexual education.

Family First has produced a report on the Relationships and Sexuality Education Guidelines (or RSE for short) – a new set of proposals produced by the Ministry of Education and released in September last year. Despite being well-intentioned with an aim to create more inclusive school environments and reduce bullying, these proposals are for the most part ideological, and while their content is portrayed as scientific, they have no basis in science. This should be concerning to all parents and caregivers.

The report “Relationships and Sexuality Education – Ministry of Education (2020) An Analysis for Parents / Caregivers” deals with the following issues:
• the new curriculum is rife with dangerous misinformation;
• it seeks to inject sexuality education into the rest of curriculum;
• it wants schools to implement controversial and divisive policies; and
• it puts schools at risk of becoming ideological and indoctrinatory spaces.

In the new curriculum for primary age children, requirements include:
* “students should be addressed by their preferred name and pronouns”
* “schools need to ensure that students can access toilets and changing rooms that align with their gender identification… trans students should not be required to use the gender-neutral toilet rather than male or female toilets of their choice”
* “challenge sex norms – for example, the assumption that sex characteristics at birth are always male or female”
* “challenge homophobia, transphobia, sexism, gender binaries… interrogate the ongoing effects of colonisation”
* “labelling uniform items by gender is an exclusionary practice”
* “In Science, consider how biological sex has been constructed” (our emphasis added)
* “In Social Science, research the #MeToo movement”

In January, a nationwide poll found increasing opposition to gender ideology being taught to children in schools, and increasing support for sex education in general to be opt-in, rather than the current status of opt-out.

“Parents have rightly been horrified at groups coming in to schools and undermining the role and values of families with sex education and gender identity resources targeted at children as young as five which fail to take into account the emotional and physical development of each child and the values of the family. We believe that the number of parents wanting the right to opt-in will actually be much bigger when offered the opportunity,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

Family First NZ has also published a resource in 2020 Responding To The Transgender Issue – Parent Resource Guidedesigned to educate and assist parents.

This Guide is designed to:

  • help parents understand the basics of the transgender trend and its consequences
  • understand the implications of transgender activism and “gender-inclusion” policies in schools
  • explain parental rights, and give parents the tools to communicate with school leaders in order to protect their children’s rights to privacy
  • encourage parents and school officials to work together to create a respectful school environment
  • help parents advocate for common sense policies that will respect the dignity of all students
  • help schools act with compassion toward everyone involved in the conversation

The Guide offers a wealth of constructive ideas for parents who want to work with their schools in a respectful manner to foster a genuinely inclusive climate based on truth and compassion.

Only 16% think primary age children should be taught they can choose their gender and that it can be changed through hormone treatment and surgery if they want it to be, while three out of four (74%) say they shouldn’t. Opposition to gender ideology has grown significantly from a similar poll in 2019 where 54% said children should not be taught this, and 35% said they should.

52% think sex education should be opt in (a parent has to opt in for their child to receive them) and 36% opt out (compulsory unless a parent opts out in writing). Support for opt in has increased from 34% in a 2019 poll and down from 55% for opt-out.

A majority 58% think parents should have the final say on what sex education is provided in a local school and 31% the Government.

“Primary age students are now being targeted with the confusing and dangerous message that changing sex is as easy as changing clothes, girls are discovering that biological boys have free access to their changing rooms, and the curriculum states that parents are able to be kept in the dark when their child has decided to identify as transgender during the school day.”

“But it seems evident that the majority of New Zealanders are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with this curriculum and agenda in schools. At the very least, parents should be given the option of whether their child is exposed to this ideology.”

“It’s also time that the Education and Health Ministries placed priority on scientific evidence and sound medical practice, rather than bowing to special interest groups pushing a radical agenda. Biology is not bigotry,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Family First is calling on sex education in schools to be opt-in, rather than opt-out.