An education conference highlighting the indoctrination of children in Scottish schools has gone ahead, after LGBT activists attempted to shut down the event.

‘Education not indoctrination’, organised by campaign group Hands Up Scotland, invited discussion from academics, parents and teachers on the pressure to shut down debate on issues in schools, including the promotion of LGBT ideology and the sexualisation of children through sex education.

But just days before the conference, it had to be relocated to The Tron Church, Glasgow. Agile City, the operators for the original venue Civic House, said its staff refused to work at the conference, claiming it ‘opposed their values and made them feel unsafe’.

‘Dangerous’

Dr Stuart Waiton, Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Criminology at Abertay University, commented: “You couldn’t really make this up. But cancel culture has now firmly taken root in Glasgow. The whole point of this conference is to have a discussion about some of the dogmatic and ideological developments in schools.”

He added: “This attempt to cancel the event is illustrative of the dangerous and deeply intolerant times we live in, where any discussion or disagreement about issues like race and gender are silenced”.

Revd Dr William Philip, Minister of The Tron Church, said “Ideas are presented, debated, challenged and – ideally – refined. And in a democratic society we should be able to air different views to achieve this. This is even more important when we’re talking about how Government policy is implemented, as was the case with this conference.”

‘Climate of fear’

Speaking at the conference, The Christian Institute’s Deputy Director Ciarán Kelly highlighted that the Scottish Government’s “underlying mindset” is that the “state knows best and parents are to be seen and not heard”.

He said both Scottish law and statutory guidance make clear that local education authorities and schools need to respect the views of parents and be transparent with them, but a “climate of fear of being branded ‘phobic’ or a bigot” pushes some schools to adopt LGBT policies and resources that are unsuitable for children.

Referring to the historic 2016 UK Supreme Court ruling against the Scottish Government on the central aspects of its notorious Named Person scheme, Mr Kelly added: “The struggle is between the ‘totalitarian regime’ with its doctrines of intolerant tolerance and exclusionary inclusivity on the one hand, and on the other the ‘subversive varied influence of the family’ which may want schools to uphold the reality of biological sex or traditional marriage.”

Women’s rights group For Women Scotland, which was among others speaking at the conference, said it was important to understand the damage being done by “bringing in gender ideology into classrooms”.

England

Last month, it was reported that the Prime Minister intends to strengthen guidance on Relationships and Sex Education to ensure that children in England are not exposed to inappropriate materials.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Rishi Sunak plans to allow parents to view RSE content, including resources provided by outside organisations.

He is also considering a review of the Equality Act 2010 to emphasise that the protected characteristic of sex refers to biological sex, rather than gender. This would clarify that single-sex spaces would be protected in Great Britain and that men cannot compete in women’s sports.