| 17.7°C Dublin

'no requirement' Dublin City Council reject claim that pupils are being forced to take 'pronoun pledge'

The Countess claim the information packs asks pupils to pledge to use pronouns like they/them - as used by some stars like Demi Lovato and Sam Smith - when dealing with non-binary students

Close

Demi Lovato has come out as nonbinary and changed their pronouns to they/them.

Demi Lovato has come out as nonbinary and changed their pronouns to they/them.

Demi Lovato has come out as nonbinary and changed their pronouns to they/them.

Dublin City Council have rejected claims by a campaign group that pupils in secondary schools in Dublin are being asked to take a pledge of allegiance to 'gender ideology' as part of a new LGBTQIA+ programme.

The Countess, who claim to be a 'group of progressive women' from Ireland and the EU, say a pack being sent to secondary schools in Dublin includes a pledge to normalise the 'use of pronouns'.

A number of schools in Dublin are set to be sent packs, which include posters, bookmarks and information on LGBTQIA+ issues, which had been developed by Comhairle na nOg for the council.

However, the Countess claim the information packs asks pupils to pledge to use pronouns like they/them - as used by some stars like Demi Lovato and Sam Smith - when dealing with non-binary students.

In a statement, founder and spokesperson Laoise Uí Aodha de Brún said: “Asking schoolchildren to take a pledge is coerced belief and could be in breach parents’ rights.

"The Education Act 1998 is clear on the need for parents to be kept in the loop on matters pertaining to their children's education.”

However, Dublin City Council have dismissed the claims saying their is, "no requirement on students or the school to physically sign-up to the pledge or to endorse the actions listed.”

The Countess have also claimed the official national curriculum has been "quietly rewritten" to include the introduction of gender identity ideology to junior infants onwards.

“It would appear that the Department of Education's goal is to get them young by teaching children as young as four the highly contested core concepts of this damaging pseudo-science which is ideologically driven, has no basis in biology or material reality and is damaging to women and children,” de Brún said.

In July, The Countess published the results of, what they called, the first-ever independent survey into public attitudes to gender identity.

They claim the results show that parents in Ireland “are deeply uncomfortable with their children being taught that one can be born in the wrong body”.

“The majority of those who expressed an opinion did not want their children taught that it was possible to change sex,” the group added.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

“Parents do not want their children indoctrinated in this way.

"Ireland has sleepwalked into a new religion and segued from one theocracy to the next."

In response to the statement, Dublin City Council said that young people aged 12 to 18 were given the opportunity to be involved in the development of policies through Comhairle na nOg.

“The core programme of Comhairle centres on elected young people identifying, prioritising and progressing topics they feel passionately about.

"The 47 Dublin City Comhairle members this year decided that LGBTQIA+ issues fall into that category for them.”

The council said 22 secondary schools in Dublin replied that they would be interested in receiving a pack of information about LGBTQIA+ issues.

The packs contain LGBTQIA+ bags, badges and bookmarks will be sent to those 22 schools on the week beginning September 20 and students can take one if they wish.

“As part of the pack there is also a commitment/pledge poster which calls on schools to take a look at a number of actions that the schools involved may choose to be part of,” the council said.

“They can simply display the poster somewhere in their building if they would like to. The poster calls on the schools to look at taking a number of actions in support of LGBTQIA+ youth within the school setting.

“There is no requirement on students or the school to physically sign-up to the pledge or to endorse the actions listed.”

The statement added that Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alison Gilliland, is fully supportive of this initiative.

“Comhairle na nOg is a fabulous programme that gives our young people the chance to have their voices heard,” the Lord Mayor is quoted as saying.

“After all, they are the future of our city. I commend them for choosing to promote LGBTQIA+ issues.

"Their promotion of LGBTQIA+ issues supports the country’s National LGBTQIA+ Inclusion Strategy (2019 – 2021) and responds to the need of many young people in the LGBTQIA+ community who feel isolated and excluded from society.

“I am very disappointed by the reaction of a small minority of people to this initiative. These packs are a small attempt by the young people in Comhairle to show their support to the LGBTQIA+ community and I applaud them for it.”

A Department of Education spokesperson said their current policy is “not to endorse or promote any particular programme, product or publication regarding the support of the teaching of subjects of schools”.

“There are very limited a number of exceptions where the department has procured textbooks or resources in order to fill a specific and urgent need,” the spokesperson added.

“Apart from a small number of prescribed texts at post-primary, determined by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), the decisions on which textbooks, programmes and products to use in primary and post-primary schools are taken at school level.”

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy