Has Christmas come early?
Coalition deal throws out RSE Guide
Buried deep in the agreement reached between National and NZ First is a commitment to remove the Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide. Hurray!
But there is still a long way to go before we have achieved our goal of scientifically accurate and age-appropriate relationships and sexuality education. Removing the RSE Guide is just the first step in a process of de-programming schools from gender ideology. We also need to advocate for:
A new RSE Guide and lesson plans that teach the fact of binary sex, that humans cannot change sex, and that there is no one right way to be a boy or a girl.
Removing the influence of InsideOut, Rainbow Youth, and Family Planning etc from schools. The MOE must stop naming transgender advocacy groups as “trusted organisations”.
Removing the concept of ‘gender identity’ from all MOE documents, policies, and practices. This ideological belief must not be treated as fact in our education system.
Restoring single-sex toilets and changing rooms in all schools, and single-sex sports, where appropriate.
A nationwide policy that requires everyone in schools to use standard English pronouns for a person’s correct sex and removes the whole concept of ‘misgendering’.
A requirement that parents must disclose the birth sex of a child upon enrolment in a school even if the child holds a birth certificate with an altered sex marker.
A requirement that schools must disclose to parents any social transition requests - for a new name, pronouns or uniform change - made by their child at school.
A requirement that school libraries must hold balanced collections that include books that are critical of gender identity ideology and confirm the fact that humans cannot change sex.
We all need to keep lobbying our schools and MPs, writing letters, and talking to everyone we know about why the RSE Guide must go and what needs to replace it. A good place to start would be by writing to the new Minister of Education, Erica Stanford: firstname.lastname@example.org
More good news in the coalition agreement is a promise to amend the Education and Training Act 2020 so that free speech is protected in tertiary education, which hopefully will trickle down to the rest of the education sector.
Another welcome policy negotiated by NZ First is to rule out the introduction of hate speech legislation. Our freedom to state the truth - for instance, that humans cannot change sex - will be restored.
The Free Speech Union stands up for parents
The Free Speech Union has written to Berhampore School and the Secretary for Education, Iona Holstead, following discriminatory treatment by the school of parents who questioned the school's PRIDE week activities. In the letters, the FSU said, “We are concerned that certain New Zealand schools are not fulfilling their obligations to parents and communities by consulting with parents about their RSE curriculum, showing respect for the diversity of views in the community, and giving parents a chance to object and withdraw their children from class where it violates their freedom of conscience.”
These letters follow previous FSU advocacy on behalf of parents against enforced pronoun use, and regarding the proposed new criteria for principal appointments. Speaking up has resulted in the FSU being invited by the Ministry of Education to make this submission on the new Principals’ Eligibility Criteria.
Stand with the FSU
In a recent facebook post, the FSU described meeting with a principal of a large high school.
More and more frequently, principals and parents are contacting the Free Speech Union, asking us what their rights are to speak out or hold beliefs that run counter to what they hear others express at their school.
Often, these questions relate to material regarding the Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum.
If you think this is a challenge for parents to navigate, often it's even harder for principals and leadership at schools. They can feel like it's parents on one side, Ministry of Education officials on the other, and they're stuck in the middle…
Like other school leaders, the principal I met with today feels like if they really speak freely, the consequences come thick and fast. Before too long, it may be that this particular principal wouldn't have even ever gotten the job!
Thankfully, the meeting I had with the principal this afternoon resulted in me being invited back to talk with the Board of the school to suggest how they might ensure there's an environment where everyone feels they have freedom of conscience and speech. I'll also be speaking at one of their upcoming assemblies, to talk with the students why these ideas really matter.
It made us wonder whether there are other schools where principals, teachers, parents, or students need support in standing up for their freedoms of conscience and beliefs.
The Free Speech Union exists to support all free speech champions, no matter where you stand, to defend and expand these basic freedoms. Next year, we will be working in over 20 schools to make the case for why free speech matters to us all; we're working to raise a new generation of advocates.
If you're in a position to help us make the case for free speech, whether it's working alongside a Board of Trustees at a school, speaking in a classroom, meeting with a school group, or even something else, we'd love to hear from you. (email@example.com)
Genspect NZ is live
Genspect is an international alliance of parent and professional groups whose aim is to advocate for parents of gender-questioning children and young people. It represents organisations in 25 different countries and, amongst its many excellent resources, publishes “Stats for Gender” which is a roundup of accurate scientific data on a wide range of gender topics.
Genspect Australia NZ was launched at a webinar on 10 November and its new Gender Framework was introduced. The more than 300 page Framework covers everything related to gender and identity and was written to address the fact that previous guidelines around gender-related distress were all rooted in a medical approach.
We believe that there are many routes that may lead to the development of distress over an individual’s gender. Equally, there are just as many routes out of such distress.
Genspect's vision is to move beyond a medical understanding of gender distress that typically leads to invasive medical interventions, and toward a deeper understanding of gender and identity. The Framework provides expert advice on everything gender-related, from background theories, to treatment pathways, to laws and policies, and to the challenges facing families and schools in the current gender-affirming climate.
Other highlights from the webinar were:
Sexuality and gender in the early Māori world
Emeritus professor, Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, discussed what is really known about sex and gender in early Māori society. She concluded that, although there is evidence that sexuality was fluid in the ancient Māori world, the core value of kinship connections meant that the concept of changing sex was not part of the ancient culture. To read a full review, click here.
NZ’s transgender health guidelines cannot be justified
Retired public servant, Jan Rivers, said New Zealand’s gender-affirming treatment guidelines have not been properly assessed by the Ministry of Health and cannot be justified. “Where the impacts of medication and surgery are so extreme, it’s not appropriate that they be managed through a guideline which has never been given a proper appraisal by parties other than those whose interests are in the very medicine that they’re developing the guideline for,” she said. To read a full review by Bernard Lane, click here.
Gender identity in schools
Marg Curnow from Resist Gender Education spoke about the content of the Relationships and Sexuality Education Guide and the rights of parents.
We believe that school policies and guidelines which collude with students to keep their gender transition at school a secret are the ultimate betrayal of trust and of unprofessionalism.
Marg described three ways parents can influence the teaching of RSE: by expressing their concerns about the current guidelines to the Board of Trustees, by participating in the bi-annual Health curriculum consultation process, or by making a formal complaint in writing about any scientifically false or age-inappropriate teachings.
Is Gender Ideology a Cult that has infected our institutions?
‘Yes’ was the answer to that question from Dr Dianna Kenny, a retired Professor of Psychology from the University of Sydney. In her presentation, she considered the parallel strategies of indoctrination into groupthink that were employed by Hitler youth and are now being used to induce children into transgenderism. She concluded:
Gender ideology really is a religion. I have not been hyperbolising to call it such. More than that, it is also a cult. I suspected so from the first, but to hear it said in a judicial setting and used as a valid argument for transgendering a ten year old was staggering, dismaying, and sobering.
Video from the webinar will be publicly available soon.
New on our website
Child psychologist, Dr Miriam Grossman’s new book “Lost in Transnation” is an essential guide out of the madness for anyone whose family is embroiled in a gender identity battle or who wants to prevent one.
Dr Grossman provides excellent advice for parents in this interview by Matt Walsh.
Helen Joyce reacts to ‘The Transgender Child’
In this outtake from an upcoming series "Uncomfortable Truths: The Reality of Gender Identity Ideology", Helen Joyce comments on the "dishonest and irresponsible" parents quoted in the book.
Another NZ puberty blocker warning
"A Terrible Trap", an article by Charlotte Paul about the dangers of puberty blockers, was published in the December 2023 issue of "North and South". You can access it on the Libby app by using your library card. In the article Paul says, "We have taught these girls to think they are really boys and thus to be disturbed by the changes of puberty... The only solution looks to be the suppressing of puberty. We adults have encouraged children to think like this."
We apologise for a spelling error in our last substack in the name of the east Auckland group that was leafleting the suburb. The correct name of the group is Mama Bears Arising and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org.