Relationships and Sexuality Guidelines: What every concerned parent should know

New Relationships and Sexuality Education Guidelines which push the gender diversity and inclusivity narrative have been published by the Ministry of Education.  The guidelines are intended for teachers, leaders and Boards of Trustees of all State and State-Integrated schools.

There are two guides, one for years 1-8 and another for years 9-13.  Both guides are titled Relationships and Sexuality Education.  Content in each document is generally the same, with some issues, such as pornography, and sexting, being fleshed out further in the secondary school resource.

According to the preamble on the Ministry of Education site, the guidelines “make explicit the key learning at each curriculum level.”  The Ministry claims to have integrated “the latest research on relationships, gender, sexuality, and wellbeing.”

The documents are a revision on the 2015 resource “Sexuality Education:  A guide for principals, boards of trustees, and teachers”.  They have been developed in response to the Education Review Office report “Promoting Wellbeing through Sexuality Education.”

Sexuality education is required in the New Zealand Curriculum through the Health and Physical Education strand for New Entrants to Year 10. 

In order to ensure all students receive sexuality education, including senior students in Years 11 to 13, and students whose parents have removed them from this aspect of the curriculum, schools are encouraged to provide “opportunities in health education, in other curriculum programmes, and in many other school contexts.”

The Ministry of Education maintain that “relationships and sexuality education cannot be left to chance in schools,” and are advocates for this education to begin from early childhood, building consistently.

What parents need to know

Gender diversity and inclusive school communities are the main concern of the document

Although key learning indicators linked to the NZ Curriculum do include the usual sex ed suspects (naming body parts – including genitals – at level one, contraception, consent, sexual health, etc), a thorough reading of the documents leaves one with the impression that the purpose is to groom young children into accepting a worldview that embraces homosexuality and transgenderism as normative.

In the overview, the intention is made clear.  The authors state that the guidelines

“cover learning about relationships as well as about gender and about sex and sexualities.  They discuss social and emotional learning and look at how young people can come to understand the physical and social contexts of gender, bodies and sexuality… The formation of young people’s personal and gender identities is viewed as an ongoing lifelong process.”

In addition, schools are asked to implement policies and foster an environment which embraces gender diversity. 

Schools are required to:

  • Have inclusive environments.
  • Allow children to express their gender identities and sexual orientation freely.
  • Ensure children can choose their own name and identity.
  • Discuss diversity of sex characteristics, gender identity and sexuality in their programmes.

In addition, policies should include:

  • Permitting biological boys to access girls toilets and changing rooms (see below for more information);
  • School rolls and records are to use the person’s name, gender and pronoun of choice;
  • Forms are to include gender diverse and non-binary options;
  • Students of all ages should have confidential access to health services.

A quick glance through the Glossary of Terms at the back of both documents, confirms any doubts about the purpose of the document.  With the exception of STI’s, every term is specific to gender or sexual orientation. 

Upholding the human rights of all people is said to be essential, but that’s not really the case

While the documents express a concern for the rights of all to be upheld, on a closer reading, it is clear that these rights only pertain to certain people.  The Human Rights Commission is quoted within the texts:

“All people have the same rights and freedoms, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC).  SOGIESC is an umbrella term like Rainbow, LGBTQI+, and MVPFAFF.  It includes people who are takatāpui, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, intersex, transgender, transsexual, whakawāhine, tangata ira tāne …”

The acronym MVPFAFF is for Pacific terms – māhū, vakasalewalewa, palopa, fa‘afafine, ‘akava‘ine, fakaleitī (leitī), fakafifine, which tend to describe men who behave like a female.

Cross-curriculum learning about Relationships and Sexuality

Sexuality education is traditionally taught as part of the Health and Physical Education learning area.  Under the Education and Training Act 2020, parents and caregivers can legally request in writing that their child be released from health class during sexuality education.  

However, this new resource encourages teachers to find opportunities across the curriculum, and to utilise “authentic social contexts” as teaching opportunities.  The exemption above does not apply to other subjects or instances where sexuality is discussed.

Each document gives example learning intentions for each curriculum area, showing how the Guidelines might be integrated into other subject learning.  The following examples are important as they show how the narrative can be applied outside of Health.  These examples serve as a warning to parents be very vigilant.

KEY COMPETENCIES

  • Thinking:  examine their own and others attitudes
  • Using language, symbols, and texts:  they will critically examine values, cultures, and stereotypes and how these affect themselves and others.
  • Participating and contributing:  learn about the importance of respecting diversity and contribute to inclusive classroom and school communities.
SUBJECTYEARS 1 to 8YEARS 9 to 13
Physical Education* Explore and challenge gender stereotypes and work towards inclusion.
* Discuss issues related to gender binaries.
* Undertake critical inquiry into homophobia and transphobia in physical activity and sporting contexts.
* Discussing and challenging gender issues related to sport and physical education uniforms.
English* Critically explore how the diversity of families, schools, and communities is represented in texts.
* Engage in dialogue and debate in the context of provocative online posts linked to relationships, gender, and sexuality.
* Identify positive and negative gender bias in media stories.
* Analyse how family relationships are represented in different genres and/or text types.
* Explore how texts represent and convey relationships, including intimate relationships, aspects of consent, safety, communication, identity, gender representation, and ideas of love.
* Create texts (oral, written, or visual) to convey ideas about gender and sexuality.
* Use information literacy skills to draw conclusions about a self-selected topic related to intimate relationships.
Science* Consider how biological sex has been constructed and measured over time and what this means in relation to people who have variations in sex characteristics.
* Consider variations in puberty, including the role of hormone blockers.
* Explore the role of genetics in constructing debates about gender and sexuality.
* Identify famous male and female scientists who identify as male or female or have diverse gender and sexual identities, and describe their contributions.
* Explore what “male”, “female”, and “hermaphrodite” mean in relation to plants and animals.
Technology* Explore symbols linked to the gay and transgender rights movements.* Interrogate the design and sustainability of menstrual products, such as tampons and pads.
* Interrogate the design and sustainability of contraceptives.
Social Sciences* Explore the women’s liberation movement (for example, women gaining the right to vote in 1893 in Aotearoa New Zealand) and the development and persistence of gender stereotypes (for example, by researching the #MeToo movement).
* Consider famous “rainbow” figures from history.
Identify different types of families and gender roles within them.
* Consider the impacts of digital technologies on social movements and sharing of information in the context of shifting societal norms of gender and sexuality.
* Explore the history of rainbow movements and gay rights in Aotearoa New Zealand, for example, law changes over time to address issues from the death penalty to marriage equality.
The Arts* Explore issues around relationships, consent, and gender stereotypes through visual art, dance, and drama.
* Consider plays with roles that do not conform to gender stereotypes.
* Consider plays and role plays that critically investigate stereotypes relating to gender and sexual orientation.
* Identify ways that colour and language are related to gender and sexual orientation.
* Identify gender and sexual orientation stereotyping in popular music.
Languages* Discuss the use of gendered or non-gendered pronouns across different languages.* Consider how the terminology of gender and sexuality has changed over time in English, Māori, and other languages.
Mathematics and Statistics* Explore ways of collecting information and interpreting the data in meaningful ways… for example in relation to class or school demographic information.* Explore ways of collecting information and interpreting the data in meaningful ways… for example in relation to:
* Gender and relationships in TV advertising
* Population data explored in terms of gender and sexuality bias.

 The Guidelines actively work to dismantle the natural family

According to the documents, it is important for schools to “include policies that explicitly require inclusion of diverse staff, families, and community members who interact with the school.”  This, it is said, part of the whole-school approach of establishing and maintaining a culture of inclusivity.

School events are viewed as opportunities to “welcome diverse families with a range of structures, actively including same-sex, trans, and gender-diverse partners and community members.”

Furthermore, teachers and school leaders are encouraged to use language which recognises “gender diversity and diverse families.” 

“Schools should avoid referring exclusively to “Mum and Dad” and include other possible family structures, such as families where single parents, same-sex parents, gender diverse-parents, foster parents, or other family members are the key caregivers” the document states.

There is no doubt that teachers need to be sensitive to the family situations of their students.  However, marriage and family are the foundation of a civil society.  We do a grave disservice to our children when we undermine the institution of the natural family.

Students to have access to toilets and changing rooms that align with their “gender identification” not their biological sex

Both primary and secondary school Guidelines highlight a belief that students should have “access toilets and changing rooms that align with their gender identification,” claiming that it “supports their sense of identity and wellbeing.”

While acknowledging that “toilets and changing rooms can be unsafe environments,” limited consideration is given to the feelings and vulnerability of students who may have to share the facilities. 

Gaining student feedback is given a cursory mention, although seemingly, it is more important to gain the feedback of those students who identify as “trans, non-binary, or intersex”, rather than the boys and girls whose spaces are being impinged.

“Trans, non-binary, and intersex ākonga (students) should be able to choose a toilet and changing room that matches their gender identity.  Trans girls should be able to use the female toilets if they prefer to.  Ideally, schools will have at least one gender-neutral toilet available for ākonga, but trans, non-binary, and intersex ākonga should not be required to use this rather than male or female toilets.” (RSE Guidelines)

Access to toilets by students who “identify” as a gender other than their biological sex has already become an issue in New Zealand schools.  Some female students have been ridiculed for feeling disturbed and vulnerable in such situations.  With these Guidelines in place, students will have less of a voice than ever before.

Activist “support groups” are encouraged

Activist support groups operating within secondary schools are actively encouraged.  According to the Years 9 to 13 document, these support groups can be teacher and/or student led.  The groups include “gay-straight alliances, queer groups, rainbow groups, peer sexuality support groups, feminist groups, and school health councils… advocating for change within the school.”

Assistance in setting up these activist groups is given by way of listing three resources:

  • InsideOUT (an organisation that works with “rainbow” youth throughout New Zealand)
  • Guide to LGBTQIA+ students (on the Ministry of Education curriculum site)
  • Secondary Schools Diversity Groups:  Rainbow safety first (on InsideOUT’s website)

These so-called support groups have as their goal the normalisation of LGBT behaviour within the school community.

With the exception of the promotion of teen parent units, it is disappointing to note that groups advocating positive healthy lifestyles, such as chastity (which includes abstinence) or pro-life advocacy groups are not mentioned as potential advocates for change in the school community.

Pornography and sexting are addressed, but not because they are bad for young people

It is laudable that pornography and sexting are identified as problems for students.  The documents cite a recent study by the Office of the Film and Literature Classification Office which revealed that one in four young people in New Zealand have seen porn before the age of twelve.

Highlighted is the incidence of porn use as students grow older.  “One in four seventeen-year-old boys and one in ten seventeen-year-old girls see porn at least monthly” claims the secondary school document.

However, the concern doesn’t appear to be that pornography and sexting are bad for youth or people in general.

Referring to research, the authors state that “young people want more and better information about sex and sexuality.  RSE programmes provide an opportunity to discuss the complexities, issues, and impacts of widely available pornography, including how it is becoming a kind of de facto sex education.”

There is the concern: that pornography is becoming a “de facto sex education.”  The Ministry would much rather teachers provide the sex education.

This attitude becomes blatantly clear when making reference to the legal implications of sexting. “Even if the person portrayed originally shared or made the images or video with someone consensually, that doesn’t mean that the person has consented to its being shared to a wider group,” the document states.  The inference is that if consent is given, the original act is acceptable behaviour.

Recommendation that school uniforms be reviewed

According to the Relationships and Sexuality Guidelines, uniforms for boys and girls is “an exclusionary practice.”

“School uniforms,” it states, “often reinforce gender norms and binaries, so schools should offer gender-neutral clothing choices when reviewing school uniforms.”

The UNESCO report mentioned above labelled “gender-specific uniforms” as “implicit homophobic and transphobic violence.” 

The recommendation that school uniforms be reviewed is not a small matter.

Anti-bullying programmes are avenues used to normalise homosexual behaviour

All bullying is nasty behaviour that strips people of dignity.  Bullying can never be tolerated.

But like all good things, there is the potential for it to be hijacked.  That is the case with anti-bullying campaigns which are used to mainstream LGBT behaviour. 

C-Fam, an organisation which keeps a close eye on developments at the United Nations, saw this hijacking coming some years ago.  In a 2016 article they highlighted a UNESCO report, which advocates for “inserting LGBT materials into public school curriculum worldwide by means of a UN General Assembly mandate aimed against bullying.”

In that article, C-Fam staff noted concerns that the report “uses the issue of bullying as a pretext to mainstream homosexuality among children.”  The report made “no reference to children with disabilities, those belonging to religious minorities, or migrant children who are also targets of bullying.”

In 2016, C-Fam reported that the General Assembly had given the green light to a Global Anti-Bullying Campaign. 

Turning back to New Zealand, evidence of the influence of the UNESCO’s reports can be found.  The Relationships and Sexuality Guidelines specify that procedures around dealing with bullying should “directly address” incidents related to “sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“Such bullying includes making sexist remarks as well as homophobic or transphobic mocking and name-calling,” the Guidelines state.

Readers are directed to find out more from bullyingfree.nz, which has a plethora of information about bullying in general and includes a specific section relating to LGBT bullying.  There, a Ministry of Youth Development survey is referenced, stating schools should lead by “acknowledging and normalising LGBTIQA+ young people.”

Conclusion

There is an agenda being implemented which is accelerating at lightning speed.  It’s an agenda that wants to destroy all that is true, good and beautiful about friendships, sexuality, marriage, family and replace them with a distorted, inverted notion of freedom.

Parents and caregivers should be very concerned about the content of these Guidelines.  They should also be very concerned about the government’s pledge of support for schools to implement the recommendations contained within. 

Find out what parents and caregivers can do here.

Examples of Key Learning
at Years 1 to 3
Examples of Key Learning
at Years 2 to 5
Examples of Key Learning
at Years 4 to 7
Examples of Key Learning
at Years 6 to 10
Examples of Key Learning
at Years 8 to 12
Examples of Key Learning
at Years 10 to 12
Examples of Key Learning
at Years 11 to 13
Examples of Key Learning
at Year 13

1 comment

  1. Thanks for this article. It convinced me that the Governments approach is correct. We need to accept everyone as they are and make space for all. People should stop freaking out so much. Let people live, let them have a life too. STOP oppressing people.

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