UK Education Secretary Damien Hinds has come under fire over the provision of same-sex relationship lessons in Orthodox Jewish schools.
The Federation of Synagogues, led by Dayan Lichtenstein penned an angry letter to Damian Hinds MP, above, telling him that:
Under no circumstances will Charedi schools dilute their passionately held beliefs and sexualise their children.
Andrew Cohen also weighed in. The President of the Federation of Synagogues told Hinds that:
Our traditions demand that the teaching of issues of personal intimacy should be left entirely to the parents, who have always decided the appropriate age and the appropriate way in which our children are educated in these matters.
Hinds was told that Britain’s policy of “tolerance and respect for religion” is now “under threat” because schools have to teach about non-heterosexual relations.
All schools are required by law to teach children about characteristics that have legal protection from discrimination, including those who identify as having different sexualities and genders, but Orthodox schools staunchly refuse to do so.Education watchdog Ofsted’s Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman, above, doubled down on the need to teach about same-sex relations this week, telling the BBC that part of living in a democracy meant accepting and abiding by the rules and laws passed by the majority, even if you don’t like it, adding that nothing extensive or supportive was required.
It’s making sure they know just enough to know that some people prefer not to get married to someone of the opposite sex and that sometimes there are families that have two mummies or two daddies.
It’s about making sure that children who do happen to realise that they themselves may not fit a conventional pattern, know that they are not bad, they are not ill.
However Cohen insisted that while teaching tolerance for all and having in place firm anti-bullying policies have always been an intrinsic part of Charedi education, there is no requirement to teach “innocent children” about same-sex relationships.