UK Gov't/Big Brother(?) considers banning "undesirable" education
As part of the Government's Counter Terrorism Strategy, the Department of Education has announced plans for the registration and regulation of "out-of-school education settings." In other words, these proposals could lead to censorship of aspects of the Christian message.
This includes all ‘intensive education’ where a child attends a particular ‘out-of-school’ setting for more than 6-8 hours in a week. The government says it proposals aim to protect children from ‘emotional harm’ and ‘extremism’
The government proposes:
- 1. Registration of those settings which meet the requirements of ‘intensive education’.
- 2. The power to inspect on a routine basis and in response to specific concerns.
- 3. The power to impose sanctions where they are not satisfied with (not only about the premises of teaching but also) the content of what is being taught.
These proposals also seek to regulate the content of what may be taught.
"Undesirable teaching, for example, teaching which undermines, or, is incompatible with, fundamental British values, which promotes extremist views" would not be permitted under these new proposals.
Whilst these new proposals have been prompted in the light of Islamic extremism, their scope goes far beyond curbing the rise of Islamic extremism. Many Christian and other youth activities are likely to come under the umbrella of these proposals, including perhaps, popular summer youth conferences like Soul Survivor and Youth 2000.
The Government’s Counter Terrorism Strategy, of which this proposal forms a part, seeks to "address the full spectrum of extremism: violent and non-violent, Islamist and Neo-Nazi – hate and fear in all their forms."
However, these ill-defined terms – "extremism", "emotional harm" – and other vague language are extremely subjective and could lead to state regulation of certain aspects of the Christian message, especially relating to its sexual ethics and view on pro-life issues. There is frequent opposition to those with traditional views on marriage and pro-life issues, as has been seen with increasing regularity in British society.
This is not the mark of a free society, but one in which freedom of conscience and religion can be easily suppressed and smothered. This is not the type of future we want for children's education in Great Britain.
We must, therefore, now let the Government know about our concerns and demand that these proposals be dropped altogether.
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Gov't overreach in extracurricular education smacks of Big Brother