On the 21st October our spokeswoman Tanya Carter gave a speech at the first LGB Alliance conference. She explained who we are and what motivates us.
You can read her speech below.
My name is Tanya Carter, I’m one of the spokeswomen for Safe Schools Alliance.Tanya Carter, October 2021
The well-being of children is what drives us. The physical, mental and emotional health – and the safety – of children is more important to us than anything else.
More important than what some journalists want.
And definitely more important than what some of our critics say about us.
I want to clear up some of the libellous things that have been said about us. We’re accused of being anti RSE – that’s relationships and sex education – and campaigning against RSE in schools. We’re very in favour of RSE, we believe it’s a vital part of keeping children safe.
Children have a right to biologically accurate information, to know accurate terminology, to know how their bodies work. They need to know what the laws are in this country and what their rights are.
It is true we have successfully campaigned against some RSE programmes and had them withdrawn – we’ve campaigned against materials that described hard core porn practices as ‘liberating’, that suggested anal sex (which was described as ‘bum sex’) was a good way to avoid pregnancy, and which used disturbing slogans such as ‘love has no age’.
We’re accused of being religious or right-wing fundamentalists. For the record: I’m an atheist, I’m a floating voter, my background is Mum, early years practitioner and chair of governors.
I have no “hidden agenda” – I have no agenda other than protecting the welfare of children. I’ve had twenty years of safeguarding training which I took seriously, especially that safeguarding is the responsibility of every adult in society – that you never know anyone well enough to say they couldn’t, wouldn’t or didn’t, and you always have a responsibility to speak out on behalf of children, or anyone else more vulnerable than yourself. Our materials are available for anyone to use and anybody who agrees with our values is welcome in our group.
We’re accused of being homophobic and transphobic and not wanting inclusion in schools.
We’re a group of parents, grandparents, teachers, governors, and other health and education professionals.
Many of us are LGB ourselves and/or have LGB or trans-identified children. Many of our supporters are LGB.
We’ve successfully campaigned to have some ‘trans inclusion toolkits’ and LGB T resources withdrawn. One of our many concerns with these materials was that they endangered the very children they claimed to protect.
We have objected to materials that undermine normal safeguarding practice of parents and schools working together, which suggest that being same-sex attracted may mean you’re in the wrong body, which advocate binding and have been hideously inappropriate, introducing concepts such as chemsex, pony play, BDSM and leather fetish to 11-year-olds……. Oh, and advising them where they can get free fisting gloves.
We find the suggestion that all gay people support promoting age inappropriate materials to children homophobic. Many of the materials are themselves homophobic.
We have seen utterly bizarre explanations given to children such as a Lesbian is a ‘non-man attracted to other non-men’ and a gay man is a ‘non-woman attracted to other non-women’.
We think the current situation has been enabled by a failure to understand or implement both safeguarding and safer recruitment.
Ofsted defines safeguarding as:
protecting children from maltreatment
preventing impairment of children’s health or development
ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes
Safer recruitment is about ensuring that only suitable individuals work with children. One of the premises of it is that it is far easier to prevent a predator from entering your organisation than it is to remove them, once they are there. This means thorough background checks, obtaining up-to-date references and exploring people’s motivations for working with children — not all those motivations are good.
If it becomes apparent that somebody wants to work with children to meet some need within themselves, or to promote political ideals, rather than to help children, they are an unsuitable person and must not work with children.
Organisations must operate a culture of vigilance, where concerns are taken seriously. And if there are cries of ‘racist’, ‘homophobe’, ‘transphobe’ and ‘pearl-clutchers’ – we must all remember that these are recognised silencing techniques, and are to be ignored. The welfare of children is always paramount.
Although we’ve been campaigning for only two and a half years, and all of us are volunteers, we get quite a bit of high quality media coverage. Whistle-blowers approach us – as do desperately worried parents and teaching staff.
Some journalists, of course, ask us for access to families.
We tell them NO.
We advise them not to ask us a second time.
We protect our sources. We protect their anonymity.
If a journalist does ask repeatedly, we refuse to work with them.
We receive daily emails from both parents and teachers raising concerns. There are clearly a number of groups operating in the education sector that care more about promoting themselves and their political ideas than the safety of children.
This is unacceptable and throws up many questions. The biggest one is “How do we improve and strengthen safeguarding to help protect organisations against infiltration and grooming in the future?”
We’ve identified a number of safeguarding problems regarding RSE/PSHE (Personal, social, health and economic education) materials, trans inclusion toolkits and various LGB T groups. They misrepresent the law, they undermine the rights of girls and are incredibly damaging to the very children they purport to help.
Some of them are persuading children to collude with them, and to keep parents in the dark. Why?
Some of them are seeking to remove children from established safeguarding frameworks. Why?
Bizarrely, many are homophobic and encourage transing away the gay by taking experimental drugs. Again -why?
Why and how is this happening? And how are we going to stop it?
What are you going to do?