Homophobic Teaching in Schools

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Conference
2014 National LGBT Conference
Date
29 July 2014
Decision
Carried

It has become apparent through press reports on Thursday 19th June that over 30 schools across the UK are using textbooks from the US-based Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum, which teach amongst other abhorrent views: that Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) can be avoided through religion; that homosexuality is a sin and a choice; evolution is a lie; and abortion is wrong.

It states: “Homosexuals engage in sexual activity with their own sex. The Bible records that God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of homosexual activity.

“Some people mistakenly believe that an individual is born a homosexual and his attraction to those of the same sex is normal.”

“Because extensive tests have shown that there is no biological difference between homosexuals and others, these tests seem to prove that homosexuality is a learned behaviour.”

“The Bible teaches that homosexuality is sin. In Old Testament times, God commanded that homosexuals be put to death.

“Since God never commanded death for normal or acceptable actions, it is as unreasonable to say that homosexuality is normal as it is to say that murder or stealing is normal.”

The North West region is particularly disgusted to report that three of these schools alone teaching this curriculum are based in Manchester, including ACE King of Kings School. Despite the assertions by its head teacher in the press (Manchester Evening News, 19th June 2014) that they teach their students “to think for themselves” she also asserts that ”As Christians we believe the Bible and we believe what the Bible says” we believe that this sort of homophobia has no place in our schools.

Conference is extremely concerned that children being exposed and taught such homophobic views, which will inevitably lead to at the very least disrespect towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and at the worst trigger hate crime and violence.

Whist recognising that many of the schools are independent or private, this is contrary to the spirit of the Public Sector Equality Duty and with the growth of the coalitions ‘Free School’ programme may lead to further schools adopting such curricular. At a very basic level, all children should be taught respect for others, no matter what their background, culture, gender or sexual orientation.

Conference calls on the national LGBT committee to:

1. Write to the Secretary of State for Education expressing our concerns regarding the use of the ACE curriculum; and,

2. Seek to work with this government and future governments to ensure that all schools provide a balanced curriculum with statutory Sex and Relationship Education.