Dear madam: letters to the editor 14/10/19

In this week's postbag of letters to the editor, Tes readers discuss protests over LGBT lessons and climate change

Tes Editorial

Tes letters to the editor: 14/10/19

Respect the parents' views on LGBT teaching

There is widespread public concern not just about the importance of promoting mutual respect of others but also about the serious problem of marginalising and ignoring the views of parents who disagree with the LGBT indoctrination of children.

There seems to be no attempt or desire by MPs or schools to communicate meaningfully and respectfully with parents who feel steamrollered.

Why is it that protesting parents are not recognised as fellow citizens who genuinely care for their children (and for wider society)? Why are their views overridden without genuine consultation? Why must they be branded as bigots, troublemakers, fundamentalists and so on?

From the TV reports I've seen, many of these parents seem to be Muslim. I am not a Muslim, but along with many non-Muslims I support them in these protests – so long as they conduct them non-violently and with the same respect that they themselves should be accorded.

Let's have an even-handed approach, rather than an agenda-driven one.

We all have to live together – hopefully in harmony – so let’s not keep on pushing LGBTism at primary school children in the pretence it is only about equality and diversity.

P Arrowsmith
Via email

Geography and climate change

It is unsurprising that, as an RE and philosophy teacher, Tim Jones’ actions pose many questions about our individual and collective actions in response to climate change ("Teachers urged to quit their jobs to 'save the planet', Tes, 8 October). However, in arguing that pupils refuse to sit their “meaningless” GCSE and A levels, he misses a universal truth, as it is within geography classrooms where his former colleagues are teaching the next generation about this very issue. Indeed, the influence of our changing climate has been recently cited by exam boards as one reason for the record number of young people now choosing to study this subject.  And there is wider public support for this view, too. For example, geography GCSE was ranked first in the responses of 2,000 people who took part in a recent YouGov poll that asked the question “Which GCSE subjects help teach children about climate change?”

Being chained to a bollard on a demonstration definitely raises public awareness and captures coverage on the evening news.  However, we should not lose sight of the tireless work of geography teachers, matched to the desire of their pupils to understand the complexities of their physical and human world, which can underpin greater understanding about one of the biggest challenges of our time. 

Steve Brace FRGS
Head of education and outdoor learning, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)



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