POLITICAL NEWS - The ACDP has embarked on a campaign to reject a LGBTQI+ policy drafted by the Western Cape education department.
The party this week staged pickets against a draft policy on gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools by the Western Cape education department (WCED).
Last year the WCED released a draft document for public comment for or against the policy and to make suggestions doe amendments.
However, the ACDP has ridiculed these attempts and labelled them as a mean of trying to confuse learners.
“The DA is planning to actively mislead & confuse school kids in the WC with their draft regulations on gender identity and gender orientation. Biological sex is binary – male & female. Science confirms the Bible – always has and always will,” the party said.
If passed the guidelines will allow the department to educate pupils, management, teachers and governing bodies about the principles of gender and sexual diversity.
Amongst its grievances, the party rejects allowing LGBTQI+ pupils to use toilets or changing room facilities that make them feel comfortable.
The ACDP also rejects a clause in the draft that pupils may bring a partner of their choice to school functions and matric dances, regardless of sexual orientation.
The department said the aim of the guidelines was to allow an educational environment that does not discriminate unfairly, whether directly or indirectly, against anyone on one or more grounds, including gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, religion, conscience, belief, culture and birth.
“The purpose of the guidelines is to create an educational environment that is free from stigma and discrimination for all learners, educators and school staff in all public schools, and promote and protect the freedom of gender identity and gender expression of all learners, educators and school staff,” education department spokesperson Kerry Mauchline said.
The ACDP said that this policy puts teachers whose religious beliefs are against the policy at risk of losing their jobs if they are found not to be compliant.
“The DA’s guidelines grant a lot of power to schools to enforce the policy, which leaves teachers who have deeply held religious beliefs and who disagree with the policy in a situation where their jobs are on the line for non-compliance. This breaches their rights,” the ACDP said.