IN FOCUS: PROTECTING FAMILIES(SECOND SEMESTER NEWSLETTER)
IN FOCUS: PROTECTING FAMILIES
(SECOND SEMESTER NEWSLETTER)
At Cause for Justice (CFJ), we value the family unit and take the best interests of children seriously. We are steadfastly committed to assisting you to protect your family from destructive societal forces – by upholding and advancing your constitutional rights and interests.
LAW AND POLICY DEVELOPMENTS
PROTECTING PARENTAL RIGHTS AND AUTHORITY
CFJ made oral submissions to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education (PCBE)on 15 November 2022. We have been participating in the law-making process around the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (BELA Bill) for the past four years. After delivering submissions on the Draft Bill to the Department of Basic Education (DBE) in 2018, the DBE introduced the Bill in Parliament at the beginning of 2022. CFJ delivered its written submissions to the PCBE in June 2022.
We continue to emphasise that it is settled international law – and South African law affirms this position – that parents have the primary responsibility for their child’s education and have a fundamental right to direct and determine the nature and content of their child’s education.
In the public school environment, this right includes actively participating in the governance of the school their child attends. The State must support parents and school governing bodies to effectively exercise these rights in the best interests of their children.
We will use every opportunity to ensure parental rights and children’s best interests are respected, protected, promoted and fulfilled.
SCHOOL POLICY TO ACCOMMODATE NEEDS OF LEARNERS WITH GENDER DYSPHORIA –
Showing compassion for a serious clinical condition, without endorsing radical ideologies about the nature of human identity (gender and sexuality)
In 2021, CFJ became aware of a local primary school approving certain exemptions to their generally applicable rules and practices, to accommodate the needs of a young learner diagnosed with gender dysphoria.
During the first half of 2022, we actively engaged with different stakeholders, experts and professional advisers to formulate proactive responses that are in the best interests of schools and learners, including learners experiencing gender incongruence.
Early in the second semester, we finalised a generic draft school policy. The policy aims to show compassion towards learners with gender dysphoria, practically and substantively, while showing due regard for the rights, interests and concerns of other learners and parents, and without enforcing a single ideology about human identity onto the whole of the school community.
Schools that wish to show compassion for a serious clinical condition, without endorsing or forcing radical ideologies about the nature of human identity (gender and sexuality) onto their school communities, are finding it increasingly difficult to withstand pressures from gender ideology activists and their public mouthpieces, the mainstream media and the South African government.
If this is an area in which you require assistance or guidance, do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
RADICAL GENDER THEORY IN EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
In October 2022, we became aware of the Department of Basic Education’s (DBE) toolkit for gender-responsive pedagogies in Early Childhood Development (ECD). The toolkit includes documents such as ‘All are Welcome! Promoting Gender Equality in Early Childhood Development: A Practical Guide for Teachers and Practitioners in South Africa’, which is intended to guide ECD practitioners and educators on various aspects, including teaching a very specific worldview on sex and gender in the classroom and facilitating specific interactions beyond the classroom (as well as determining the involvement of parents).
Cause for Justice is concerned that the toolkit contains radical ideological – and very controversial – content, despite DBE’s obligation to remain ideologically neutral in its response to social pressure and activism. The only way to protect and promote the constitutional rights of all children in pre-schools would be for DBE to keep the school arena ideologically neutral. The role of an ECD educator is to equip a child with basic skills. The role of parents are to teach children values and a worldview. The underlying premise of the toolkit seems to be to give the teacher a dual role, now being encouraged to teach a radical ideological worldview to children about their sexed identity.
We are further concerned about the impact of such content – specifically in the way that it undermines parental rights and authority. This is evident through discrepancies seen in differences in the teaching materials and learning materials. This has the effect that parents only have access to the learning material and won’t be able question and inspect the what is being taught through the teaching material. There is a real risk that this will cause learners to start questioning the beliefs and values of their parents, because the beliefs and values government have chosen to promote are in conflict with the beliefs and values of good parents.
Since learning of this unprecedented move by government to promote radical gender theory to 2- to 5-year-olds, CFJ pulled together a group of social advocacy organisations to start building a strategy to respond to this next interference and overreach by government into the lives of young children and families. After the first couple of interactions, a clear strategy is starting to emerge by which parents, families, church and other communities will be able to make a stand against the ideological capture of the ECD sector.
The roll-out of this strategy will necessarily require resourcing, both human and campaign-related. If you want to stand with us in the protection of your children, please consider giving a once-off financial gift, or ad-hoc or recurring donations to CFJ via our donate page: https://causeforjustice.org/donate/.
SOGIESC IN SCHOOLS
The DBE’s draft Guidelines for the Socio-educational Inclusion of Diverse Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Expression and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC Guidelines) raises similar concerns as its Early Childhood Education (ECE) toolkit. Evidently, the SOGIESC Guidelines is likewise founded in radical gender ideology. For Cause for Justice, this raises constitutional concerns as the Guidelines have the potential to infringe upon the best interest of children as well as parental rights and authority.
The Guidelines proposes that gender and biological sex can be divorced from each other. It states that the mere fact that a child has specific physical characteristics, does not necessarily indicate that child’s sex. Male and female are not seen as binary concepts. Rather, the Guidelines allege that gender is based on a spectrum. In addition, the SOGIESC Guidelines assume that transgender ideology is a scientific fact, whereas in reality it is a highly contested and controversial issue in the medical world.
Internationally, in many education sectors the detrimental impact of teaching this radical ideology in schools, is becoming harder to deny. Shared bathrooms and changing rooms raise the concerns of girls’ privacy rights and safety. Girls’ sport has seen an increasing number of biological boys who identify as female, breaking records and receiving trophies and even earning scholarships, intended for girls. It is a scientific reality that a biological boy has a (unfair) physiological advantage over a biological girl in sport where physical strength and speed is required.
Another grave concern in the possibility – and already a reality in some schools – that staff and students will be forced to act against their sincerely beliefs of male and female, by calling others by their “preferred pronouns”, irrespective of the immutable scientific fact of biological sex.
The DBE intends on publishing the SOGIESC Guidelines for public comment during early 2023. Cause for Justice will continue take hold of every opportunity to engage with DBE, including drafting substantive submissions, to ventilate these important issues and expose the real detrimental impact of radical gender ideology on children.
VALUES-BASED SEXUALITY EDUCATION
We cannot afford to ignore or remain ignorant about important issues affecting our children’s personal and social well-being. This includes their need for and sense of identity and belonging. As children develop towards sexual maturity, they need to be guided to express and channel their growing sexual awareness in the most healthy and beneficial way.
In the final quarter of 2021, we hosted a Values-based Sexuality Education Expo. You can now catch up with the Expo sessions online. Don’t miss this great opportunity to engage with informative discussions and presentations about:
- Implicit ideological prejudices in the Department of Basic Education’s Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) scripted lesson plans (SLPs) – as well as
- Medical experts’, parents’, counsellors’, and therapists’ concerns with CSE (see Expo playlist);
- Values-based sexuality education programmes that can be used as alternatives to the CSE in the classroom (see playlist); and
- How values-based sexuality education materials can be practically implemented in the classroom.
Schools that have implemented values-based approaches and programmes are reaping the rewards where it matters – in the form of healthy and grounded children!
Do not hesitate to contact us for more information about values-based learning programmes / materials – and how they align to the Life Orientation (LO) CAPS (particularly useful information for schools, LO subject heads and educators).
The bottom line is: CSE is ineffective and not compulsory – and there are proven alternative programmes and learning materials that you have the right to use!
- To learn more about the Expo – and your right as a parent, teacher or school, to make use of alternative programmes: read our Expo emailer.
#PARENT TALK: THE UNSPOKEN EPIDEMIC OF CHILDREN AND PORNOGRAPHY
Children spend more and more time online for both educational and recreational purposes. They are facing a greater risk than ever before of being exposed to the severely harmful impact of pornography. What can parents do to protect children in this digital age?
With a message of hope, the CASE-SA’s virtual #ParentTalk course is here to educate and empower parents and caregivers to protect children! The #ParentTalk course includes four core training modules consisting of 90 minutes (in total) of interviews, that cover important topics such as:
- The prevalence and harms of pornography exposure (watch free preview).
- The impact of pornography on the developing child’s brain.
- Equipping parents to prepare children to respond appropriately to exposure (and arming them with knowledge about how to assist children to recover from the effects of pornography exposure).
- Using technology resources to safeguard children (watch free preview).
But completing the self-paced course is only the starting point. #ParentTalk also guides parents, teachers and other caregivers of children to a growing list of great additional resources, informative interviews, and details of service providers which can help you and your loved ones overcome sexual trauma, addiction and health issues relating to pornography.
Get involved – help protect our children today:
- Sign-up for the virtual (self-paced) #ParentTalk course.
- Sign-up to become a #ParentTalk and Porn-proofing Ambassador.
Available Online and In-person
After kicking off our in-person courses again in the first half of 2022 we are delighted to have had the opportunity to present #ParentTalk at another two communities during the final quarter of 2022. In September we presented to the staff at Wagpos High School in North West. In October we could engage the farming community of Bothaville in the Free State.
If you would like us to present either an in-person or virtual group event to your community or network, please make contact by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CASE-SA or the Centre Against Sexual Exploitation, South Africa is an initiative of Cause for Justice.
‘GOOD PICTURES BAD PICTURES’ (BOOKS)
CASE-SA partnered with Break Free to bring South Africa two read-along parenting books, Good Pictures Bad Pictures (for children ages 7 – 13) and Good Pictures Bad Pictures Junior (for children ages 3 – 6) by best-selling author and speaker, Kristen Jenson.
The books empower parents to start and develop one of the most crucial family conversations in our current ‘porn-drenched’ society, telling the story of a mom and dad explaining to their children what pornography is (how to recognise it), why it is harmful (understanding the dangers) and how to respond when exposed to it (empowering children with a plan to stay safe).
CASE-SA has acquired the exclusive rights to print, market, sell and distribute the two titles in South Africa.
The books are available for online purchase in South Africa at www.goodpictures.co.za.
Bulk orders can be placed at: email@example.com
CHILD PROTECTION STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
At CFJ, we value and invest in strategic relationships in the child protection environment. The abuse and exploitation of children is an unacceptable injustice – and, tragically, of such a magnitude that it must be addressed by working together with both civil society and government stakeholders.
Some of our activities during the second half of 2022 included:
- Participating in and contributing to various local, provincial and national child protection forums and consultative meetings.
- Assisting concerned parents and members of the public with child protection-related matters and queries.
- Educating school staff on the best interests of children in respect of sexuality education.
- Attending national government workshops on the Prevention and Management of Violence, Child Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation.
HELP US TO CONTINUE ADVOCATING TO PROTECT FAMILIES AND CHILDREN
Both families and children are worthy of protection. A stable family unit is the cornerstone of flourishing communities and the whole of society. We share a collectively responsible for the social welfare and security of all people – especially the most vulnerable in our society (like children).
Cause for Justice is committed to defending and advancing the interests of families and children in South Africa.
- Catch up on any important causes and developments you might have missed in the first half of the year read our 2022 Family and Children first semester blog.
If you are passionate about protecting families and children, we invite you to support our work by way of regular or ad-hoc donations. Without your contributions, we will not be able to continue taking up worthy causes such as these.
Cause for Justice is a registered public benefit organisation for South African income tax purposes and may issue section 18A receipts, which entitle donors to claim tax deductions in respect of donations made to Cause for Justice.