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Teaching children about LGBT issues is not brainwashing – it equips them for life

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Last week, a high court injunction banned protesters against the teaching of LGBT-inclusive lessons from gathering outside the school gates of Anderton Park primary school in Birmingham. But on Monday, there is a chance that this could be lifted.

Whatever happens, it is clear we need wider resolution on this debate in order to draw a firm line under it. To do so there are two challenges we need to tackle. One is the call of parental rights. The other is the idea of what is “age appropriate”.

Speaking as a parent, my rights are important. I know my children better than anyone. I care for them more than anyone. Both my motives and my knowledge mean that I am most likely to know what’s best for them.

But my rights are not unlimited. They do not trump all other concerns or viewpoints. No parent in modern society has unlimited rights. We are not free to neglect, abuse or hurt our children, for example. It is not a valid argument simply to claim “parental rights” as if that automatically overrides all other considerations. We have to dig deeper.

The boundaries of parental rights are relatively straightforward when it comes to physical or emotional harm. But what about knowledge and values? Do I have a right to determine what my children learn and believe by........

© The Guardian