Tuesday, 27 February 2007

The Thought Police Are Out And About

This may surprise you, but I do not consider myself to be a liberal... (oh, ok, you'd figured that already?)

However, I distrust totalitarian regimes. I do not smoke (and I'm not a reformed smoker) but I really feel unhappy about the ban on smoking in public places. I believe that the first place to introduce this sort of ban was Nazi Germany... 'Nuff said.

With current legislation, it will probably soon be illegal to speak of Church teaching on homosexuality, gay adoption, same-sex marriages and so on. Sending your children to a Catholic school might, at one time, have been a refuge from this sort of thing: with Catholic teachers promoting the teachings of the Church, the purity and innocence of our children could be considered to be safe. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Teachers in Catholic schools are rarely Catholic, or, if they are Catholic, they are either not practicing or in open dissent with the Magisterium.

Even if some of the teachers are faithful to the teachings, things like Sex Education are passed on to outside agencies, and the school has no control over what is said to the children (no matter what promises are made beforehand.) The Hierarchy seems oblivious to this, protesting that there is a legal requirement to teach the National Curriculum, and that we have to move with the times... little (if any) support is given to parents who raise concerns.

Parents are the primary educators of their children, and (an unfashionable take on it, I know) one day they will have to answer to God for their discharging of this awesome responsibility. So, some parents feel that they have to resort to home-schooling.

This is hardly an easy option - all sorts of rules and regulations, and the knowledge that you could be inspected at any time. However, up until now, if a child had never gone to school, the Local Authority had no right of inspection.

It seems that this is no longer to be the case: the UK Government want to bring in some more legislation to control this too...

...they want the powers to introduce the following:

• A duty for parents to register children educated at home.
• A duty for parents to meet with the local authority annually.
• Powers to require access to the child for welfare checks.
• Powers to require access to the child to assess educational development.
• Powers to require the child’s work to be inspected.
• Powers for DfES to set curriculum content which must be included in the educational provision.
• Powers for DfES to set standards and methods of teaching

Carolina Canonball describes the effects of current legislation on home-schoolers, and it's draconian enough to make your hair curl. And now they want even more powers...

You know, I think the Soviet Union and Communist China would have loved to have had this sort of power over their people...

Mantilla-twitch to The Crescat (lots more information and links) and to The Muniment Room


Andrew said...

I believe that the first place to introduce this sort of ban was Nazi Germany...

Well, even a blind pig can snort up a truffle once in a while, right?

Mac McLernon said...

I would tend to distrust anything the Nazi's were in favour of... I think no-smoking bars and clubs should have been voluntary rather than enforced.

aggiecatholic said...

On this side if the Atlantic some of the things you mentioned, like discussing church teaching in public, is already being cracked down on. Two people from Oakland were fired from their jobs with the city and were told possible "hate crime" charges might be brought against them because they used the terms "natural family values" to describe a group they wanted to start among city workers.

Favorite Apron said...

As a homeschooler myself, I find that absolutely deplorable.
Even here in the Land of the Free, we have some irritations that vary by state, but nothing federally mandated.
I hope UK homeschoolers band together to fight this.

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