This opinion article was printed June 03 2011 in The Guardian
I am deeply troubled by the proposed PEI Family Party. Their policy on “Freedom from sexual indoctrination” in education compares lesbian and trans identity to pedophilia and bestiality. It also implies that these sex crimes are “normalize(ed), promot(ed) or propagate(ed)” in the public school system. These policies are deeply offensive and have no place in Island politics.
Yes, there is “sexual indoctrination” in schools, but not because the curriculum is promoting sex crimes, or even doing enough to acknowledge the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) identities. All youth are pressured, harassed, and intimidated into expressing their gender and sexuality in restricted and/or unhealthy ways. Even straight boys are the target of homophobic violence if they fail to act masculine enough – if they figure skate, for example, or (god forbid) cry.
The cost of not teaching about and “normalizing” identities in the school system is extremely high: island families risk losing their children. LGBT youth have a much higher rate of suicide and attempted suicide because their schools, their peers, their families, and their communities do not recognize or accept their identity. LGBT youth will also seize the first opportunity to move away since they experience harassment, intimidation, and/or violence in the school system from students and teachers alike.
The PEI Family Party’s policies on “freedom from sexual indoctrination” are but the tip of the iceberg. Also on the agenda is revoking the rights of non-traditional families, including common-law couples with children, and eliminating all legislation recognizing same-sex marriage. Also chilling is their policy requiring women seeking abortion to read materials and watch videos made by pro-life groups. They would also effectively privatize education by taking money away from the public school system to pay for private schools. Employment equity and pay equity policies are also on the chopping block. It is clear that the PEI Family Party’s concerns are rooted in American-style evangelical Christianity, and I, for one, do not welcome this addition to PEI’s political landscape.
** for more information follow these links … Queer Theory, LGBT, ARC PEI … I tried to find even a curriculum outline for the current sexual education program in Island Schools but I couldn’t find anything …. If you would like to find that information you can most likely request it from the PEI Dept. of Education – becka
4 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor – Freedom from sexual indoctrination”
Important stuff. Thanks for this.
Very informative and important article Josie. Keep up the good work!
Bible-types always do what this bunch is doing: insisting that by rejecting the inherent backwardness of their mandate, it’s everyone else who is practicing intolerance.
But here’s the thing. Some opinions are just plain wrong, and I’m allowed to be intolerant and shrug those opinions off. Or point and laugh at them. People who argue against climate change. People who believe in the entitled supremacy of white males. People who believe the bible should rule government. And people who seek to legislate homophobia with absolutely no grounding in reality, sensibility, or classic christian inclusiveness.
You can’t be pro-slavery and expect me to listen. You’re obsolete. You don’t deserve my listening. Is that intolerant? Yes. Because I am intolerant of intolerance. And to me, this is the only proper kind.
No matter what anyone says or does, there will always be a segment of society (increasingly small, thank goodness) that will hold onto these antiquated and false beliefs. They long for the “good ol’ days” when there were no gays, no premarital sex and women stayed in the house and had babies. No amount of fact or reason will dissuade them from their core beliefs.
I wouldn’t really worry about this party having any impact on the political scene. They are a fringe party with fringe beliefs. They also want to privatize the education system (I would assume this is a means to get religion in the schools), cut civil service positions, cut social programs, and require the provincial debt to be paid down by 20% each year or an election will be called. Good luck with that.