Allow independent thought in independent schools

Private schools must protect free speech

 

Allow independent thought in independent schools

020,000
  16,147
 
16,147 people have signed. Help us reach 20,000 signatures.

Allow independent thought in independent schools


The Reverend Doctor Bernard Randall, a chaplain at Trent College, was referred to the UK’s anti-terrorism unit, Prevent, by the school and later dismissed from his position after preaching a sermon telling pupils they are allowed to question LGBT ideology.

Dr Randall’s sermon did not promote hatred, prejudice or encourage violence; it simply laid out the Christian position on sexual relationships and gender ideology and told pupils that it was legitimate to disagree with policies that seek to erase the biological difference between male and female.

Dr Randall explicitly condemned prejudice of all kinds but pointed out that Christians enjoy equal protection under the Equalities Act. He noted that students should feel free to reject the prevailing zeitgeist without fear. He specifically told pupils that “if you are at ease with this LGBT stuff, you’re entitled to keep those ideas; if you are not comfortable with it for the various, especially religious reasons, you should not feel required to change”.

It is outrageous that as a result of reminding children of traditional Christian teaching, Dr Randall (who is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre) should be deemed a potential terrorist threat and lose his job, even more so when Trent College advertises itself as having a Christian ethos.

Many parents decide to educate their children privately, often at high personal cost, hoping that the independent sector will be free from much of the secular ideology that pervades local authority schools. Dr Randall’s sermon needs to be seen in the content of Trent College’s decision to introduce the controversial ‘Educate and Celebrate’ programme, which has been condemned by many secular organisations, including Transgender Trend.

Far from causing harm to children, Dr Randall was seeking to protect children whom he had pastoral responsibility for from a harmful ideology that encourages children to believe that biological sex can be freely chosen and, in some cases, to reject their bodies.

Trent College has not been the only independent school to censor teachers for exposing children to views against the current zeitgeist. Eton College also sacked a teacher for expounding views against certain strands of feminist thought.

Both Trent College and Eton College are members of the prestigious Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference. We call on them to issue a clear statement in support of freedom of speech in all of their schools and allow children to be exposed to a range of views, which is the only way to develop critical thinking. Sign today.



https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9557845/School-reports-chaplain-telling-pupils-theyre-allowed-disagree-LGBT-teaching.html

https://www.transgendertrend.com/educate-celebrate-smashing-heteronormativity-classroom/

+ Letter to:

Sign this petition now!

 
Please enter your email
Please enter your first name
Please enter your last name
Please enter your country
Please enter your zip code
Please select an option:

Protect independent thought in your schools

To: Sally-Anne Huang, Chair of the Headmasters’ & Headmistresses’ Conference and the HMC Executive

Trent College, one of your members has sacked a Christian chaplain and reported him to the anti-terrorism programme Prevent after he preached a sermon telling students that they are allowed to question various LGBT policies.

The chaplain’s sermon was entirely reasonable; it encouraged tolerance and condemned hatred and invited students to consider the Christian position regarding matters of sex and sexuality, and informed them that this was a view that enjoys equal protection under the law.

Despite being a Christian school, Trent college has embedded the controversial ‘Educate & Celebrate’ programme with its aims of ‘smashing heteronormativity’ into the classroom. This is a programme that has alarmed many secular groups concerned with RSE, thanks to its insistence that schools ought to embrace gender ideology.

As well as being reported as a potential risk to children, the chaplain was also informed that any future sermons would need to be censored by the school and excluded from any decision-making regarding the implementation of the policy. A policy that not only endangers all children but is also wholly contrary to the Christian ethos that the school is keen to advertise to prospective parents.

Trent College is not the only HMC member to have stifled freedom of speech in the classroom. Eton College has also dismissed a staff member for criticising feminism in a lecture.

Many parents choose the independent sector for their children hoping that these schools will be better positioned, free from state bureaucracy, to promote freedom of thought and expression and encourage their children to encounter and think critically about a range of viewpoints.

The HMC must issue a clear statement supporting freedom of speech in their schools and uphold the rights of staff members to offer differing views to children, even if they go against the prevailing zeitgeist. 

[Your Name]

Allow independent thought in independent schools

Sign this petition now!

020,000
  16,147
 
16,147 people have signed. Help us reach 20,000 signatures.