INTO’s LGBT group: ‘gender neutral toilets’ in primary schools

People may recall that when parents raised concerns over the possible influence the controversial activist Peter Tatchell had over school programmes in Ireland, and his possible association with Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman,  those legitimate concerns were dismissed and even condemned.

Furthermore, anyone questioning the lack of consultation with parents regarding the involvement of Tatchell and extremist activists in putting together radical LGBT+ programmes for schools were ridiculed as being paranoid or homophobic, a ploy designed to shut them up, and close down debate.

Tatchell is notorious, of course, for writing to the Guardian newspaper in 1997 defending a book called ‘Dares To Speak’ which, in Tatchell’s words, “challenges the assumption that all sex involving children and adults is abusive.” He described the book as “courageous”, and added: “The positive nature of some child–adult sexual relationships is not confined to non-Western cultures. Several of my friends – gay and straight, male and female – had sex with adults from the ages of nine to 13. None feel they were abused. All say it was their conscious choice and gave them great joy.”

“While it may be impossible to condone paedophilia, it is time society acknowledged the truth that not all sex involving children is unwanted, abusive and harmful,” he  added. At the time of the controversy last year, any involvement with Tatchell or his organisations with school programmes in Ireland was downplayed.

But now, a video made by Hilary Egan of the Irish National Teachers Organisation LGBT, + teachers group confirms the close involvement of Educate and Celebrate, the group of which Tatchell is a patron, in pushing an agenda in Irish schools. 

First of all, bear in mind that she is a member of the union that represents primary school teachers. So, when she refers to teachers using the classroom Egan is talking about primary school children. Parents do not generally consent to radical programmes on LGBT issues when placing their boy or girl in a school. As we shall see, however, such consent is neither here nor there for some activists. Neither, it should be said, is the notion of ‘boys and girls’.

The question should also be asked, for whose benefit is this agenda being promoted? Egan refers to LGBT+ teachers and to the small number of LGBT+ families as the focus. Schools, and least of all those catering for young children, have nothing whatsoever to do with promoting the “issues” of concern to anyone other than the children. The moral upbringing of children is fundamentally the job of their families, not the state and certainly not some self appointed radical political organisation.

So how does Egan propose that teachers promote all of this? They can start, she explains, by moulding impressionable minds through stories. Including The Sissy Duckling, and The Gender Fairy. Oh, and one about gay penguins and a crayon who is red but is forced to live among blue coloured things – an introduction to transgender issues for junior infants, as it were.

Another means is to highlight the sexuality of authors, and people who have played important roles in history. Is it the business of a teacher to be telling children that the most important thing about Oscar Wilde or Alan Turing or Kathleen Lynn was their sexual preference rather than the fact that they were a great writer, played a key role in breaking Nazi codes, and in Lynn’s case her involvement in the Irish revolution? Should teachers also tell children when discussing “heteronormative” men and women about who they had sex with?

The issue of most concern, however, is Egan’s urging on teachers to push for gender neutral toilets for boys and girls – and remember that this is for primary schools. How many parents are aware that this is something that INTO activists regard as either appropriate or important? And how many would support Egan’s plan to eradicate “binary” language among children, including the erasure of the use of the terms ‘boy’ and ‘girl’?

On what planet is it the role of a primary school teacher to tell children that they are non-binary or that girls are actually cisgender females or other such nonsense? This would be a dangerous intrusion into the rights of children and the wellbeing of children.

Lest you also think that Egan is just some randomer sitting in her house making videos, it is apparent that the INTO at leadership level is at the very best “neutral” as regards all of this. To show the extent of their advocacy, they invited a leading radical activist Elly Barnes to address its last conference in Wexford.

Here we have Barnes advising teachers on how to promote the LGBT+ agenda without being inconvenienced by parental consent.  As she laughingly tells delegates: “Don’t send a letter home to say you are about to embark on this work. That’s the worst thing you can do.”

“Who wants that in your life?” she tells Irish teachers. “Don’t hold a parents meeting.”

She states parental consent  is not necessary anyway once the state complies with their demands.  If the parents do get all bolshy then the way to deal with that is by pretending to act as some kind of counsellor. Ask them: “Do you need help talking to your child about racism?” And so on.

Barnes is the founder and executive of Educate and Celebrate of which Tatchell is a patron. Hilary Egan brandishes their book How to transform your school into an LGBT+ friendly place at the end of the video. Interestingly, Barnes’ stated aim of “smashing hetereonormativity” is also echoed in Egan’s video where she refers to the need to “smash the belief that we cannot do this in our schools.” This is not the language of teachers. It is the language of Antifa. And who exactly is she referring to in “our schools” come to think of it?

The radical politics behind Educate and Celebrate have been exposed by others. Rod Dreher, editor of The American Conservative focused on that group as pushing exactly the same policy, in exactly the same underhand manner among American teachers, behind the backs of parents and guardians.

In his piece Dreher states “The left used to be about economic fairness. Now, as Agosto Del Noce saw back in the 1970s, it has become about the revolutionary destruction of social norms.”

That is the battle into which Egan, Tatchell and Minister O’Gorman wish to drag our schools and our  children. Far from being marginal paranoids and scare mongers and whatever, those who have highlighted what is going on are speaking truth to power, to use one of the many meaningless tropes of the far left.

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  • niall McConnell
    published this page in News 2021-03-24 11:31:05 +0000
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