Government rejects petition to ban LGBTQ+ themes from UK school curriculum

The UK Department of Education said it had "no plans" to amend school curricula by banning content related to LGBTQ+ identities.

This article is about a petition in the UK to ban LGBTQ+ content from school curricula. In the photo, a class with a teacher talking to their pupils while they're sitting at their desks.
Image: Via Pexels - Max Fischer

The UK Department of Education has rejected a petition calling for all topics and content related to LGBTQ+ people and relationships to be removed from school curricula.

The petition in question was launched on January 12 by Fares Rahmani, an Algerian official who explained how he believes that children in school should not learn about LGBTQ+ identities.

“We believe kids shouldn’t learn about this at an early age,” he stated in the petition. “I am sure there are many parents who do not want their or other children taught about LGBT in primary school.”

The petition has already been signed around 200,000 times. However, data sourced from the website show that a considerable number of those signatures came from countries outside the UK, such as the Vatican, Egypt and Brazil, despite the site explicitly stating that “only British citizens or UK residents have the right to sign”.

While this has the potential to invalidate it, the petition to amend school curricula by banning all LGBTQ+ content has already failed to get past its first step when it was rejected by the UK government. On January 30, the UK Department of Education released a statement saying that it had “no plans to change its advice to schools on this subject.”

The statement went on to explain that all pupils should be taught about LGBTQ+ content during their school years and that the government encouraged both secondary and primary schools to include such topics in their curricula.

“Through these subjects, children will be taught about the importance of respectful relationships and the different types of loving and healthy relationships that exist. This can be done in a way that respects everyone’s views.” the statement said.

It then emphasised that Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) “is designed to give pupils the knowledge they need to lead happy, safe, and healthy lives and to foster respect for other people and for difference.”

Moreover, an opposing petition has been launched to push the government to not remove LGBTQ+ content from UK’s school curricula and it has gained more than 20,000 signatures in just a few days.

While this is positive news for queer youth in the UK, the current conservative government has already shown opposition to LGBTQ+ rights, specifically the rights of trans people. Only a couple of weeks ago, in an unprecedented move, the UK government blocked the Gender Recognition Reform bill passed in Scotland last December, which would have made it easier for trans folks in the country to have their preferred gender recognised in legal documents.

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