The celebration of PRIDE week in child centred environments has led to the victimisation and humiliation of at least one Christchurch teen last week. We ask how many other children out there are feeling uneasy because some schools forced them to participate in ‘non educational’ celebrations.
The child made a conscious decision not to wear the suggested colourful entourage to celebrate an event she chose not to support. This student was set upon by authority figures who should be there to provide a safe space for her freedom of thought and beliefs.
If this wasn’t enough, she then asked to be excused from the school assembly because the planned display would likely be harmful to her emotional well-being. The student was told she had to attend. Not only are the rights of parents being undermined but children have not been afforded their rights to choose to opt out of school ‘extracurricular’ activity which is mentally and emotionally stressful to them.
These ill-conceived actions of the teaching staff and the school are questionable when considering their codes of professional responsibility which clearly state that they must provide:
- MANAAKITANGA: creating a welcoming, caring and creative learning environment that treats everyone with respect and dignity.
- PONO: showing integrity by acting in ways that are fair, honest, ethical and just.
- WHANAUNGATANGA: engaging in positive and collaborative relationships with our learners, their families and whanau, our colleagues and the wider community.
The parents were not informed of this event and yet the student, without any input from her parents, had made a decision to wear no colour to school that day. When asked by her parents why she didn’t have her uniform on she told them it was mufti day. The rights of this child were violated by the demands of the staff who questioned her and told her she was supposed to wear what they had told her to.
These staff members have failed in their responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for ‘all’ the children. New Conservative does not support forced compliance to ideological positions in schools, as this denies thought diversity, so it is illiberal by definition.
“The actions of these teaching professionals are clearly anything but professional when examined in the light of the many standards they are required to abide by,” says Helen Houghton, New Conservative Education Spokeswoman. “We call on this school, and any others that may have behaved in a similar manner, to publicly apologise for the offence caused by requiring students to celebrate something they simply cannot celebrate. Tolerance should not require celebration.”
Helen Houghton, New Conservative Education Spokeswoman
027 746 5757