Greg Whitby needs to resign. Catholic Parents need to wake up.
Apr 22, 2021 —
Mark stops the woke
By MIRANDA DEVINE
One Nation’s Mark Latham has had enough of teachers assuming the roles of parents, and now aims to prevent it with a much-needed state parental rights bill
If parents don’t insist that they — not teachers — are responsible for their children’s values and moral development, then they will have only themselves to blame when a brainwashed woke generation turns on them.
This is the dystopian future which One Nation’s NSW leader Mark Latham is trying to prevent with a “parental rights” bill that ensures schools cannot teach ideological and political material that is “inconsistent with the wishes and values of parents”.
Latham says his goal is to re-establish “primacy of parents in shaping their children’s development and sense of identity”.
The legislation, which will be debated in public hearings at NSW parliament this week, would also enshrine in law the right of parents to withdraw students from the classroom if they object to the material being taught.
This includes “gender theory” which confuses children by teaching that there are not two distinct sexes, but a fluid continuum of sexual identities from which you can choose.
The NSW government banned the stealth gender ideology program, euphemistically named “Safe Schools”, four years ago, but the material still is being snuck into the curriculum and teacher training programs, which is why Latham’s bill is important.
Of course, there is antagonism to his legislation from activists, academics and left-wing lawyers who have contributed the majority of the 81 submissions to this week’s parliamentary inquiry.
But hostility also comes from what should be a most unlikely source, the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, which runs 80 schools, and educates more than 43,000 children, or one quarter of all students in western Sydney.
In a deeply stupid submission, Greg Whitby, Parramatta’s head of Catholic Education, alleges that the concept of “parents’ rights” has “long been discarded in Australia”.
He slams as “short-sighted and lacking insight” Latham’s thesis that parents should have the right to object to their child being indoctrinated in gender fluidity.
He claims that the bill would make it impossible to teach students Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, As You Like It or Merchant of Venice.
He also makes the concerning assertion that “equity” is central to Australian education. Equity is not the same as “equality”. It is a faddish Marxist code word for “equality of outcome”, as opposed to “equality of opportunity”, and should ring alarm bells when used by educators.
Astonishingly, Whitby’s submission also goes on at length about international treaties, as if they somehow should usurp age-old Catholic teaching.
Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long needs to step up and tell us where he stands on the indoctrination of children in the concept of multiple genders, and how setting them on a path to puberty-blocking hormones and mutilating surgery accords with God’s creation. Until the Bishop comes out of the shadows, we are left with the words of his envoy, Whitby, who explained his objection to Latham’s bill on the weekend to Nine newspapers: “It’s not for a school or a central office or, dare I say, even politicians to make those decisions. If you seek to codify those things, you are putting a personal perspective on what’s right and what’s wrong.”
Actually, teaching right from wrong is what the Church does.
If the Parramatta Diocese wants to pander to transgender activism, that’s their business, but don’t mislead parents into thinking you’re providing a Catholic education.
Pope Francis is pretty woke, and he still says that children “need to be helped to accept their own body as it was created”.
The Pope also has warned of “an ideology of gender” imposed through “educational programs” which “promote a personal identity and emotional intimacy radically separated from the biological difference between male and female.”
That’s unequivocal and fits better with Latham’s bill than Whitby’s pronouncements.
In the UK, which is further down the path to widespread experimental gender transition than Australia, serious concerns have been raised by doctors this month about a soaring number of girls reporting a sudden gender crisis who are being prescribed powerful body-altering drugs.
Five clinicians have resigned from the UK’s only public gender identity service for children, alarmed that physically healthy children are being medicated in response to “pressure from transgender lobby groups and parental anxiety”, according to the London Times.
“It feels like conversion therapy for gay children,” said one Tavistock clinician who made the shocking claim that “potentially gay” children are being “sent down the pathway to change gender … to match their sexuality.”
In other words, gender transition for children is a risky social and medical experiment of dubious motivation which should not be encouraged by schools.
Thankfully, the much larger and eminently more sensible Catholic Schools NSW body, which represents 600 schools and 257,000 students, supports Latham’s bill, while pointing out that every child in its system is treated with dignity and respect, which is exactly what you would expect.
There is nothing remotely Catholic about creating atomised identities at odds with nature in a context where there is no objective truth and no judgment about right and wrong.
In a free country, adults can do what they like with their bodies, but kids need to be protected from the dangerous cult of gender ideology.
Parents do not send their children to a Catholic school to be confused about whether they are boys or girls.
Latham’s thesis is that parents should have the right to object to their child being indoctrinated in gender fluidity.
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