Parents have launched emergency legal action against compulsory ‘sexuality and gender‘ classes for pupils as young as three.
They asked the High Court last Friday to intervene to block lessons due to start in schools in Wales after the summer holidays.
Ministers in the Labour-run Cardiff government insist the new curriculum will embed sex and gender themes into day-to-day teaching in all subjects.
Mother-of-two Kim Isherwood said: ‘It’s weaving adult debates into all subjects, so even in maths, we’ve seen things like “find the area of an LGBT flag” or “calculate the percentage of people with chlamydia”. It’s dangerous and infuriating.’
In the landmark case, the courts will effectively be asked to decide if parents are to lose their rights to opt their children out of sex and religious education classes. Parents have previously been able to withhold consent for their children to be taught these topics. But the Wales government has classified the RSE classes starting next month as ‘mandatory’. Sexuality and gender identity issues will be woven into all classes, regardless of subject.
A HIGH COURT judge has granted a group of Welsh parents a unique opportunity to Judicial Review the Welsh Government’s controversial decision to rollout Relationship and Sex Education across the ‘whole school’ in Wales. The RSE curriculum includes sex education down to age three, the denial of parental involvement, including the withdrawal of their child from RSE lessons, and the promotion of Trans Ideology.
In April, claimants representing concerned parents and grandparents lodged papers with the High Court, after years of campaigning to remove Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) from the ‘mandatory element’ of the The Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021, which starts this September 2022. The parents believe the mandatory teaching will mean very young children will be introduced to sensitive and inappropriate topics such as gender ideology, and that they will be disenfranchised by being denied their time-honoured right to remove their child from sex education.
Mr Justice Turner, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice on 27 May granted the parents’ request, which was supposed to be heard ahead of the September start of term. In his ruling, Justice Turner said: “The issues raised on behalf of the claimants involve the consideration of complex constitutional matters with potentially very significant consequences for both parents and children. The response of the defendants, although not without force, is not so obviously determinative of the issues as to justify the refusal of permission.”
This is a hugely significant result, as the LKBKC case was not even given permission to go to Court.
Thank you for all your support and interest in this case. Following on from the last legal refusal, we submitted an application to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on a couple of points of law. Although it was a long shot, and such routes can take months/years, this was considered to be the last legal route available to us, for this particular case. Unfortunately, we have been advised that this application has been deemed inadmissible.
This is very frustrating for all involved, but with regards to this specific case and the claimants involved with it, we have done all we can at this juncture.
But it does not end there, as there are many families facing the same issues across the country… We will have a further update on how LKBKC may be able to help them in due course.
We would like to bring you up to date on the LKBKC agenda and where we have got to in the legal process. You may remember that we mounted our legal challenge in response to the changes that were made to the RSE curriculum, the inappropriate ‘teaching aids’ being offered to primary school children and the rescinding of the right of parents to withdraw their children from these lessons.
The Judicial Review process
Whilst the judge accepted that we had a valid legal case regarding a number of our arguments, he has refused to allow us to take it any further. This means, sadly, that young children will continue to be subjected to sexual propaganda and pornography from which their parents are unable to protect them.
We made an application under Civil Procedure Rules 52.30 which sought to have our case re-opened on the basis that the refusal to allow the case led to injustice. The same judge again refused this application.
The legal argument:
Having been blocked through the UK courts we now have to consider ways in which we might still achieve our goal of upholding parental rights and preventing the sexualisation of children. The decision against us was harsh, even brutal.
1. European Court of Human Rights – Our legal team have advised us that we can appeal to the ECHR in Strasbourg, given we have exhausted all domestic legal avenues. Such an application would be predicated on the existing international obligation to honour the UK’s commitment to Article 2 of the First Protocol which provides:
‘In the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and to teaching, the State shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions’.
The application to the ECHR would be to challenge the British Government, in so far as they are not protecting the human rights of parents and children in relation to RSE. The ECHR only take around 2% of cases they receive, so it is highly likely that the case would be dismissed without a hearing within a few months and furthermore A2 1P Rights for people of faith are not treated very seriously by the ECHR. Nevertheless, we intend to submit an application (by September 4th) in the hopes that we are granted a hearing.
2. Specific Case – We are looking for a specific case related to an individual or family. This is different to our previous case which was an overarching challenge to the statute, but we will still be able to use our previous witness statements. Should you know anyone who has such a specific case please put them in touch with us.
3. Private Law Action – Another legal option available to Charlie and the current claimants is private law action, but our legal team has advised against this strategy on the basis of excessive cost with no likelihood of this being successful at the moment. This could be reviewed at a later stage as the process is valid for six years following the original submission.
4. Court of Public Opinion – The only ‘court’ now open to us in this country is the ‘court of public opinion’. We know at least 34,000 people have signed our petition and believe that many more would if they were fully aware of the situation and the materials being promoted in schools. To that end, we will be pursuing as many social media/PR/broadcast routes that are available to us.
FUNDING – Needless to say we are seeking further financial support from all who have indicated their support. This will include the many who have signed our petition, those who have contacted us with personal stories of concern, those who have donated via our Crowdfunding pages, our partners and our loyal friends. We are immensely grateful for all that has been given so far and hope that this next ‘push’ will prove effective.
We continue to get people from all parts of the UK and from every faith background or none, sharing their concerns and their frustration with the new RSE curriculum which motivates us to keep going.
Unfortunately the Court of Appeal (CoA) has refused permission for us to appeal against the refusal of the High Court to grant permission to apply for judicial review regarding RSE. They have refused permission on the grounds that the claim was brought ‘out of time’.
The judge asserted that the time for bringing challenges to legislation runs from when it is made, not when it comes into force, whereas other CoA decisions suggest that time starts when the legislation comes into force. Were that the case, we would have been on time. We are reviewing next steps.