College in gender row


There has been a great deal of national and local press coverage of the lesson on “life education” which took place at Rye College on Friday afternoon last week, June 16.

Rye News feels that as this is a sensitive issue which will be investigated by the school we as a paper will wait for their findings before we release a full story.

Meanwhile, here is Aquinas Trust’s press release given to us today. A spokesperson for the school and trust, said:

“We are committed to offering our pupils an inclusive education. Teachers endeavour to ensure that pupils’ views are listened to, and encourage them to ask questions and engage in discussion. Teachers also aim to answer questions sensitively and honestly.

“We strive to uphold the highest standards across the school. We will be reviewing our processes and working with the relevant individuals to ensure such events do not take place in the future.”

Image Credits: Rye News library .

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  1. This is a really admirable and responsible position. I wish all media behaved so judiciously! Well done, Rye News for adopting a principled position.
    My thoughts are with the people at the centre of this storm, who really don’t deserve to be made casualties of a cynical global culture war. I hope our community will stand together, whatever their private views are on challenging issues.

    • The people at the centre of this storm are the two pupils who recorded the conversation. They obviously intended to call out this particular kind of behaviour which seems to have infiltrated our institutions. Teachers have no right to inflict their personal views on their students. Conversely, students have every right to express an opinion, even if it doesn’t go along with the status quo. There is far too much brainwashing going on and false “science” information being peddled and now this subject has become very toxic. There are people with genuine gender problems. One of my friends was one of them. Born with both sets of organs and had to make a decision. I never saw her wave a rainbow placard in her life. She was one of us and we never discussed it because she never forced her views or opinions on anyone. Unfortunately Yvonne died 6 years ago and was a great loss to us. She was a kind and gentle person who would never have forced others to believe in anything that was unbalanced information and presented as a front for things that are darker like the indoctrination of babies and toddlers with drag shows. And yes this is happening, look it up. But unfortunately the whole thing has been infiltrated by the woke lunacy that does not believe in any voice other than its own. It is quite right that these two students have highlighted this in the way they have. Perhaps they are sick to the back teeth of being indoctrinated with things they personally do not have time for in their lives because they are busy getting themselves an all around education so that they can have the career or lifestyle of their choice without having other people’s opinions and lifestyles forced on them. Good for them I say. Far too many kids leave school unable to read and write.

      • Well done Kim for a well crafted reply. This was heartfelt and very well balanced. So much sense in a world turned upside down.

      • I wasn’t going to reply because addressing these sorts of comments so often is a waste of time but there are two issues here I would really love you to think about, Kim.
        The first is your comment “the indoctrination of babies and toddlers with drag shows”. That is not a thing that is happening. Nobody in the drag world is trying to ‘indoctrinate’ anyone. There has never been a single case of such a thing and I challenge you to cite a single genuine case. Have you even been to a drag show? Are you aware that they’re just basically a nice lady in a lot of makeup singing on a stage? I think somehow the media on the right has managed to suggest to their readers and viewers that something sexual is happening at drag shows. Clearly no-one espousing this sort of thing has ever actually been to one, which has far more in common with an old-timey vaudeville show than anything else.

        The other thing that jumps out at me here is your comment about your friend Yvonne who ‘died 6 years ago’. Something about the way you said that strongly suggests to me suicide. And do you know why? Because suicide is the leading cause of death for trans people. And this wave of anti-trans commentary is only going to lead to the death of more people like your friend who feel hated by society just for trying to be themselves. Yvonne may not have ever felt comfortable expressing her real feelings around you and comments like this are part of the rhetoric that may well lead another ‘Yvonne’ to feel that they are not welcome in the world.

      • Absolutely right Kim. Schools should teach facts and not passing “woke” fads, should treat pupils with respect and encourage them to share their views. It is clear from the recording that the teacher attempted to “shout” the girls down. From a teacher that is abusive. She failed and full marks to the girls.
        Also, I agree that Drag shows do influence young minds whether or not that is intentional.

        • I’ve said more than enough, but just a couple of respectful thoughts on “facts”, Chris.
          Schools still teach facts. They also have to deal with the societal facts around them that shape our kids’ lives.
          Second, you may wish to consider that the small portion of conversation surreptitiously recorded and then released to the press does not represent the full story. It’s an excerpt. Further, you’ll note the teacher has had no right of reply, and the central ‘fact’ reported is apparently factually incorrect – nobody identified as a cat.
          Regarding drag shows – which have no relevance to this at all – if drag is such an existential threat to our society, I wonder how we all survived childhood pantos, Stanley Baxter, Dick Emery, Les Dawson, Dame Edna and Lily Savage? Going further back, Shakespearean female roles were originally played by men. I believe we have experienced no long lasting negative effects – except perhaps, tolerance. And joy? Like the old Clause 28 argument, exposing people to education or entertainment does not automatically shape who they are. But it does broaden their horizons.
          That having been said, it’s not villainy to discuss these issues politely.That’s part of the educative process we’re all engaged in daily. But we just have to take the heat out of it, and the antagonism. And if some constituencies are trying to make us angry about these contemporary issues, we have to ask why? So let’s keep talking and remember differences of opinion don’t have to divide us. To quote the great Dick Emery, “You are awful… But I like you…”

  2. I do not agree with Guy Harris. I believe that because this has received a global response to the incident in Rye College, we should be apprised of the events. Newspapers nationally and internationally have commented, from local Sussex papers to Washington DC. This has caused a furore, so much so that the Secretary of State for Education is launching an investigation into the school. People in Rye have the right to know and understand what has happened. It cannot be swept under the carpet as this original trigger for discussion exists as an audio recording and is not subject to speculation whether these comments were actually made. This has opened a huge debate nationwide. We should be part of it!

  3. The school couldn’t have said less! Their statement gives no clue what the fuss was about and why it reached national media.
    For those who haven’t heard the recording on social media, it concerns that most toxic of subjects, gender recognition, a subject which has led to much online abuse and the resignation of the First Minister of Scotland and others.
    My sympathy lies with the teacher whose sensitive lesson was recorded and posted on social media without permission.
    Perhaps another reason for handing in mobile phones at start of the school day.

  4. I quite agree Guy. Well done Rye News. When we are not in possession of the full facts, there is temptation to fill the vacuum with speculation and half baked conclusions.

  5. What happened to a free press (rye news). I suggest rye readers go to the Rye Observer for a short simple report of what has happened so far.

  6. To address the above, the story reached the national and international media via social media and political punditry solely bcs it generates clicks, builds media profiles and promotes particular ideological perspectives. Essentially, it’s good for business… This isn’t about the freedom of the Fourth Estate, this isn’t Woodward and Bernstein… But real people are villanised and real people suffer.
    The media coverage is not intended to inform, it is intended to fuel social division, and the ultimate aim of that is to increase the bottom line of global media organisations and to reinforce political allegiances. It’s about nothing more than segmenting audiences, and as we can see from the responses, it works really well…
    Quite apart from the cynical motivations fuelling this furore, the basic facts are apparently totally untrue: nobody identified as a cat. But a lie goes twice round the world before truth gets out of bed… The recording makes it clear that the two young polemicists were being reprimanded not for politely advancing a contrary perspective, which they’re undoubtedly entitled to, but for upsetting their classmate. And it’s they who brought up the cat canard. But that’s why kids are at school. Bcs they don’t know everything and need judicious guidance. And we shouldn’t necessarily be taking our moral and philosophical cues from year 8 pupils, no matter how passionate and assured they feel about an issue.
    What the teacher at the centre of this debacle was trying to do, it seems to me, was simply to defend robustly a small embattled enclave of sobriety and tolerance within the academic space. If you cannot exchange ideas and perspectives in an atmosphere of tolerance, you can’t teach. And if you cannot teach, you cannot prepare kids for the world they’re about to enter. So we’re all the poorer. Moreover – and I’d have thought this was blindingly obvious – young people, at the most testing and vulnerable time in their lives, need security, compassion, respect and tolerance as they develop. They really don’t need to be thrown to the populist piranhas of the press… Neither do our hard-pressed teachers. I can only imagine how hard it is for them to hold the line in this strident and immoderate world.
    So, again, well done to Rye News for trying to give all parties space.

  7. I thoroughly agree Guy.

    Having read some of the comments I think that Rye News has made the correct decision by only publishing the school statement and letting the school deal with the fallout internally.

  8. Extremely well said, Guy. Thank you for your thoughtful comments and thank you Rye News for being head and shoulders above the Daily Mail and other media who seek sensation and sow division for profit.

  9. Completely agree with Guy Harris, extremely well written about a sensitive and controversial subject, unless you read the details, carefully, as Guy had , then judgements should not be made.

  10. Does a report really need to be written? I’ve not bothered reading anything the media have written, instead I’ve listened to the audio recording of what was said in the schoolroom and made up my own mind.

  11. There appears to be one fact that has not been adequately taught to most and that is:
    Anyone who has a ‘Y’ chromosome is considered biologically male. The rest are female.
    That’s it!
    What someone may *think* they are or want to be is fluid and a psychological matter.


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