IN FOCUS: PROTECTING FAMILIES (PARENTAL RIGHTS AND THE BEST INTERESTS OF CHILDREN)(First trimester 2022)
At Cause for Justice 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.
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.
National Learner Pregnancy Policy
Cabinet approved the National Policy on the Prevention and Management of Learner Pregnancy in Schools at the end of 2021. Both the Department of Basic Education (DBE) and Department of Social Development (DSD) have commenced with campaigns to roll out the Policy. Some concerning aspects of the Policy include promoting abortion to learners as a means to deal with unintended pregnancy, an promoting ineffective and harmful CSE as a solution to rising teenage pregnancies.
Cause for Justice participated in the policy-making process by delivering written submissions, relying on research evidence to point out not only the ineffectiveness of CSE, but its harmfulness as well.
We have started engaging with DBE and DSD about how to ensure that the best interests of children – specifically pregnant children and those at the highest risk of falling pregnant, teenagers – are upheld and advanced.
A key part of the overall solution is undoubtedly to provide children with education about sex and sexuality that is values-based and evidence-based.
LAW AND POLICY DEVELOPMENTS
Protecting parental rights and authority
As a matter of settled international law and consensus, it is accepted that parents have the primary responsibility for the education of their child 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 has a duty to support parents and school governing bodies to effectively exercise these rights in the best interests of their children.
In this arena, Cause for Justice is participating in the legislative process around the Basic Education Laws Amendment Bill (BELA Bill). After initially delivering written submissions to DBE, we will answer the call for public comments on the BELA Bill by delivering written submissions to Parliament during June 2022. The parliamentary process will thereafter move to public hearings on the Bill, where we will make oral submissions to the Portfolio Committee on Basic Education in amplification of our written submissions.
We are also participating in DBE’s process to develop generic Admissions Policy for Ordinary Public Schools. DBE is currently busy consolidating the public comments received in respect of the Policy.
We will continue to make use of opportunities 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 with a serious clinical condition, without endorsing radical ideologies about the nature of human identity (gender and sexuality)
A story broke late in 2021 of a school governing body of a primary school in the Helderberg basin approving certain exemptions to the school’s rules and practices, to accommodate the needs of a young learner diagnosed with gender dysphoria. According to news reports, parents of the school were concerned about how the governing body arrived at their decisions (seeing as parents of the school were not consulted in the process at all) and about the impact the decisions and measures would have on all other learners of the school, and on the school’s culture and ethos.
Since the above matter came to our knowledge, Cause for Justice has been actively engaging with stakeholders, experts and professional advisers to formulate pro-active responses that are in the best interests of schools and learners. Schools that wish to show compassion with 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 mouthpiece, the mainstream media.
One of the solutions Cause for Justice has developed over the past couple of months is a generic school policy to enable public schools to respond to requests for exemptions from school rules and practices from parents of learners with gender dysphoria. The policy aims to show compassion towards the learner with gender dysphoria, practically and substantively, without subverting 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.
If this is an area in which you require assistance or guidance, do not hesitate to contact us.
Protecting children from exposure to harmful and age-inappropriate content
The Children’s Act, South Africa’s premier legislative child protection instrument, is being reviewed. We have actively engaged both DSD and Parliament, including delivering written and oral submissions, to ensure that the law protects children effectively against the harmful impact of exposure to explicit sexual and violent content.
The Children’s Amendment Bill is currently being deliberated by the Portfolio Committee on Social Development in Parliament’s National Assembly. Once approved by the National Assembly, whether unchanged or with amendments, the Bill will be transferred to the National Council of Provinces for a further round of public consultations (at provincial level), deliberations and a political vote to either approve or reject the legislative amendments.
To learn more:
- Read our written submissions.
- Listen to our oral submissions to Parliament [at 3:58:32 to 4:22:59 of the recording].
#PARENT TALK: THE UNSPOKEN EPIDEMIC OF CHILDREN AND PORNOGRAPHY
For both educational and recreational purposes, children are spending more and more time online. They are facing a greater risk than ever 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 of interviews, that cover important topics such as:
- The prevalence and harms of pornography exposure (watch free preview).
- The impact of pornography the developing child 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 who can help you or your loved ones overcome sexual trauma, addiction and health issues relating to pornography.
Get involved without delay – help protect our children today:
- Sign-up for the virtual (self-paced) #ParentTalk course.
- Sign-up to become a #ParentTalk and Porn-proofing Ambassador.
CASE-SA – or the Centre Against Sexual Exploitation, South Africa – is an initiative of Cause for Justice.
Good Pictures Bad Pictures (book)
Every child deserves to be warned about the dangers of pornography. Good Pictures Bad Pictures and Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jnr by Kristen A. Jenson are brilliant and internationally acclaimed resources, designed to make ‘that conversation’ natural and comfortable for parents and empowering for children. It uses easy-to-understand science and simple analogies to help children ‘porn-proof’ their brains.
CASE-SA has acquired the exclusive rights to print, market, distribute and sell the two titles in South Africa.
- To order your copy today, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHILD PROTECTION STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
At Cause for Justice 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 first trimester of 2022 included:
- Participating in a panel discussion on child protection at a local school (under the banner of CASE-SA), focusing on the legal consequences of exposing children to pornography and of children creating and distributing self-generated child sexual abuse material, of their own volition or as a result of being deceived, coerced or extorted into doing so.
- Speaking to parents at a Freedom Day Family Seminar of a local church congregation about state-sponsored Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE).
- 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.
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 of 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 taking a stand to defend and advance the interests of families and children in South Africa.
- Catch up on any important causes and developments you might have missed, by reading our 2021 Family and Children Year-in-review 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.