Children need space and play after pandemic not ‘relationships and sexuality education’

Dear Editor, After years of lockdowns, our young children have missed out on too many experiences essential to their development- playing with other children, talking with people beyond immediate family, communicating without the barrier of masks, and building their social skills with others. It should come as a relief that normality is slowly returning to our lives. But for many parents like me, the safety and security of schools has not returned. Instead the trust that once existed has been destroyed by the Welsh Government.

Rather than focusing on a curriculum that would fill the gaps in childhood development caused by the pandemic, the Welsh Government has instead opted to force focus on sexuality in infant and primary education! It is doing this with the roll out of its new “Relationships and Sexuality Education”, which is compulsory for all Welsh children from the innocent age of just three years old, starting this September.

Straight, gay or bi, as far as I’m concerned the word “sexuality” should be absolutely nowhere near any primary age child’s curriculum, let alone forced into every subject as part of a “whole school approach” by law.

Why has the government decided to make young children learn about who people want to have sex with? And why have they chosen to do that instead of focusing on giving children the space they desperately need to learn, grow and develop. Why aren’t they letting teachers focus on developing those missing basic social skills, built on innocent play and platonic relationships?

The Welsh Government’s decision is immoral and callous, especially after they prevented our children from mixing with others their own age for so long. Now they deny them the chance to enjoy the innocence and freedom that comes with youth.

Mainstream news and social media is currently chock full of activist teachers across the world complaining about how they should be able to freely discuss their sex lives in various forms with children, and how any objection to that is branded “section 28 all over again.” I disagree – it isn’t section 28; it’s common decency.

People can have sex with who they want as long as it is consenting and legal, but it should be nowhere near our primary children’s classrooms. Anyone that can’t respect that boundary, be it teachers or the Welsh Government, shouldn’t be working anywhere near children.

Kids are capable of accepting there are different kinds of families without it all being wrapped up in the political and sexual language of sexuality and gender identity, or being forced to parade the political paraphernalia of those activist movements in schools. There are better ways to ensure our children are equipped with the knowledge they need to navigate puberty without corrupting the innocence of children in infant school with talk about genitalia, sexuality and promoting sexist stereotypes under the rebrand that is ‘gender identity’.

Worse still, the wording of the proposed curriculum makes any talk of ever being biologically male or female (i.e. a boy or a girl) seem taboo, while demanding reference to sexuality and “gender identity” is threaded into every subject. That the Welsh Government are deliberately undermining parents’ human rights through the compulsory nature of the curriculum to do this, is extremely disturbing.

There are no words to express my horror that the Welsh Government has chosen to fill the inescapable social void suffered by our young children with lessons on sex and sexuality instead of letting kids play free in blissful ignorance of adult sexual experiences for as long as they can. I would rather see this corrupted Welsh RSE curriculum dropped (or at least deferred and reviewed), to give teachers the time to help young children develop the basic social skills they need, rather than forcing them to focus on adult feelings and experiences.

The Welsh Government has dangerously lost its way on this, and until parents of all persuasions across the country realise what’s being demanded of Welsh schools, and insist teachers are totally transparent about how they will implement the Welsh Government’s nonsense “RSE” curriculum, our kids will only continue to suffer.

I suggest all parents reading this – talk to your children’s schools about this now, before it’s too late. I also hope someone somewhere has the good sense and authority to put the brakes on the Welsh Government’s new RSE curriculum and ensure parents, teachers and our children are finally given the support and learning experiences they really need.

Claire Smith

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Editor

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