viernes, 1 de septiembre de 2017

Education minister should do his homework | MercatorNet | September 1, 2017 |

Education minister should do his homework

MercatorNet | September 1, 2017 | 

Education minister should do his homework

Politicians can't ignore the impact that same-sex marriage will have on kids' education
Andrew Mullins | Sep 1 2017 | comment 

Australia’s Federal Minister for Education Simon Birmingham recently rubbished the idea that legalised same-sex marriage would seriously impact on education. “It is patently ridiculous,” he said, “to suggest that allowing same-sex couples to marry is somehow going to see some new wave of teaching reform sweep through the country.”
The Minister has not done his homework.
Even a simple Google search brings to light plenty of evidence to the contrary. The USA experience is there for all to see.  For example, writing in 2011 when same sex marriage had been legalised in only seven American states, Professor Lynn Wardle, writing in the Brigham Young University Education and Law Journal, systematically documents 40 pages of abuses of student, administration, employee and parental rights.
“The impact of legalizing same-sex marriage upon education is no longer a matter of conjecture, hypothesis or speculation,” he wrote. Legalisation has had “serious, profoundly controversial, and arguably detrimental impact upon public education in the real world”.
Wardle demonstrates how the legalisation of same sex marriage must, as a matter of law, impact upon educational curriculum, and therefore on the education of students and the rights of parents.
As a matter of elementary legal analysis, if the meaning of marriage changes, education laws and policies that require or allow teaching about marriage, family life, and marital sexuality compel that the curriculum change also. Just as Physics curriculum must change if the number of planets changes (poor Pluto!), or Chemistry teaching must change if the number of chemical elements in the periodic table increases, when the meaning of marriage changes it must be reflected in the curriculum that covers that subject.
And remember, curriculum in Australia is far, far more prescriptive than in the United States.
He classifies four main areas of impact. The first involved “ideological indoctrination of students through curriculum and teaching, policies and programs that favor homosexual relations”. He lists numerous abuses of personal and parental rights, citing first of all a case involving children in the first two years of school in Massachusetts who were given books designed to teach acceptance of same-sex relationships. The parents fought the school district in the courts and lost.  
He writes, “There are indications that the use of public schools and school policies to promote indoctrination favoring acceptance of homosexual relations and lifestyles will continue, if not increase. Gay tolerance materials were mailed several years ago to 15,000 school districts.”
His second critical area involved, “suppressing dissenting viewpoints, speech, and expressions by students, teachers, guest lecturers, school administrators, and educational organizations, including employment discrimination in hiring, disciplining, firing”.
He notes that after the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, the superintendent of the Boston Public Schools (a type of Minister of Education) made “the chilling declaration that speech that results in bias against gays and lesbians or discrimination (presumably by anyone) will not be tolerated.”
Third, he notes the disregarding and undermining of parental rights and family interests in the moral education of their children. After citing clear instances where parents had been sidelined in the US he notes similarities to the Canadian experience, where under Canadian law generally: “[t]here is no opportunity for parents to withdraw their children if they disagree with this indoctrination.”
He quotes Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University:
Obviously, the earlier this indoctrination begins, the better its chances of overriding traditional values. The question is not how urgently children in kindergarten need to be taught about sex [or gay families] but how important it is for indoctrinators to get an early start.
His fourth area of documented concern is “detrimental impacts upon religions, religious beliefs, religious speech, religious believers, religious schools, and religion’s interaction with education.” Again he provides a long list of specific infringements of religious rights. For example he points out that Jewish and Catholic affiliated universities are required to recognise and fund gay clubs on their campuses and provide housing for same-sex couples.
Senator Birmingham, that sounds like a rather comprehensive list of effects. Why were you so quick to discount them? Should you use your position as a Minister to argue for your personal preferences in this plebiscite? Couldn’t there be something deeply wrong with CEOs of big companies, Presidents of the AMA and the Law Society, and a Commonwealth minister, using their platforms to influence a conscience vote?  And if they have the boldness to do so, shouldn’t they stick to the facts? 
Dr Andrew Mullins was the Headmaster of Redfield College and Wollemi Colleges in Sydney for 18 years. He is the author of Parenting for Character. He now works with university students in Melbourne. 


September 1, 2017

As our lives become increasingly intertwined with technology, it's probably a good idea to keep monitoring who is the master and who is the slave. Smartphones, drugs, machines, the internet, and so on open us up to new experiences, but they also create dependence and allow us to live in isolation. This is the theme of three of today's articles.

Marcus Roberts observes that in Japan, more and more people are seeking to live alone, with the most minimal human contact. And clever Japanese engineers are finding ways to accommodate this bizarre trend. And everywhere smartphones are invading family life and social life so that we spend long hours in a self-imposed cone of silence. "How will we Millennials be able to write great works of literature, philosophy, science, and theology when we’ve been conditioned to do everything with one mere flick of the finger?" asks Daniel Ross Goodman.

And finally, in our lead article Karl D. Stephan brings to bear his characteristic blend of wisdom and tech know-how on the development of driverless cars. They promise greater safety and convenience, but will these offset the impending loss of many jobs? 

Michael Cook
When cars have no drivers, the drivers may have no jobs
By Karl D. Stephan
But are they the road to the future?
Read the full article
Education minister should do his homework
By Andrew Mullins
Politicians can't ignore the impact that same-sex marriage will have on kids' education
Read the full article
The iPhone and us: this banal, bookless age
By Daniel Ross Goodman
Our future stars are perishing in a vacuous audiovisual wasteland.
Read the full article
Should Catholics throw in the towel over gay marriage?
By Michael Cook
Some prominent figures in Australia say it's all too hard
Read the full article
Waiting women
By Andrea Mrozek
If a woman has to wait for an abortion, there is an outcry. Think how that affects women waiting for a child.
Read the full article
Twenty years after Diana’s death, the state of Britain and its monarchy
By Laura Perrins
The public mourning for the 'People's Princess' manifested the collapse of traditional institutions.
Read the full article
The benefits of being an only child
By Marcus Roberts
But are we missing some obvious downsides?
Read the full article
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