Jewish headteacher: If we taught about sex, pupils would be removed from school
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Jewish headteacher: If we taught about sex, pupils would be removed from school

BBC Panorama, which aired on Monday, highlights concerns about new relationships and sex-education lessons in religious schools.

Damian Hinds (Credit: BBC Panorama: ‘Sex Education: The LGBT Debate in Schools’)
Damian Hinds (Credit: BBC Panorama: ‘Sex Education: The LGBT Debate in Schools’)

Faith communities have expressed concern about new relationships and sex-education in a new Panorama documentary on LGBT lessons, which aired on Monday.

The 30-minute film, titled “Sex Education: The LGBT Debate in Schools”, which highlights concerns from parents, was broadcast at 8.30pm on BBC One.

It will be made compulsory for schools to teach relationships education for primary-age pupils and relationships and sex education for secondary-age pupils from September 2020.

The Government says it wants children to be taught about same sex relationships but that it will be up to schools to decide when it was “age appropriate”.

Eli Spitzer, headteacher of Tiferes Shlomo Boys’ School, told Panorama: “If I was to decide tomorrow to teach about sexuality, sex education, if I start that tomorrow in my school, parents would withdraw their children.”

“Charedi parents are very strongly opposed to any sexualisation of their children whatsoever to the extent that they wouldn’t mention anything which could even lead to a discussion about sex. Simply put, Charedi children don’t know how children are made,” he added.

Judith Nemeth from The Values Foundation, set up last year to promote faith and traditional family values in education, issued a similar warning.

“Grassroots, groups of parents are standing at the school gate, handing out leaflets saying ‘do you know what your child is being taught’,” she said.

“There’s no way that people of faith will teach it’s ok to be gay. They won’t because the bible tells us it isn’t ok to be gay. But that doesn’t mean that we are intolerant of people who do follow that lifestyle. Nobody’s being judgemental here, nobody’s being homophobic.”

Meanwhile, Britain’s counter-terrorism tsar Sara Khan told the programme more support should have been given to headteachers dealing with protests from parents in Birmingham. “I think they were too slow to respond,” she said.

“There’s a lot of confusion about what’s actually being taught and I think the DfE could have played a very important role in clarifying to parents this is what’s actually being taught, not the misinformation that we’re seeing out there.”

Education Secretary Damian Hinds told the BBC: “We want children to grow up understanding that some people are different, some relationships are different from what they may have experienced, but all are valuable.

“We trust individual schools, individual head teachers, to know their cohorts of children, and to determine how and when to address what can be obviously sensitive subjects.”

BBC Panorama: Sex Education: The LGBT Debate in Schools airs on BBC One on Monday 15 July at 8.30pm.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments