Monday, July 16, 2012

Parent Power

I have reported in the past on the issue of explicit sexuality education for children and the determination of the UN and some National Governments to include highly inappropriate material in such programmes.  See BLOGS 2010/10 and 2011/03.  

Underlying this is of course the issue of the primary responsibility of parents for the education of their children and the tendency for this right and responsibility to be usurped by the State.

John Smeaton reports today on the issue and the success of parent power in having an explicit sex education programme suspended in a Northampton school.
John reports that Antonia Tully (pictured right), of SPUC's Safe at School campaign, spoke last week at a public meeting for parents of children in Northamptonshire. As a result of the meeting, attended by thirty mothers and fathers, the Caroline Chisholm Primary School has suspended its teaching of sex and relationships education.

International law has consistently affirmed the right and responsibility of parents in the education of their children. One only need recall the most universally ratified international legal instrument, namely, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which states quite clearly that the decision regarding the education of the child rests with the parents of that child. As the CRC states, "Parents...have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of their child" (Art. 18,1). The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, both call for respect for the liberty of parents "to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions" (ICCPR, Art. 184 and ICESCR, Art. 13,3).

As the CRC makes clear, the best interests of the child is the basic concern of the parents who have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of their child. Any attempt to usurp the primary responsibility of parents does a disservice to the child, the parents, marriage and the family. What is needed instead is respect for the child by support of the family, which is the most healthy environment for the child in which to be raised, and not the State but parents who have primary responsibility for the education of their children.”