Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

News,

Italian parents push back against ‘gender deconstruction’ project in schools

Hilary White, Rome Correspondent

PONTASSIEVE, Italy, April 7, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – This week, a group of parents told the city administration in the small Tuscan town of Pontassieve that they would not go along with the introduction of the homosexualist “gender” ideology in their schools.

The parents addressed the proposed “ECOS - Deconstructing to build” program that aims to “help eliminate the stereotypes associated with gender.” Parents quoted the Italian Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights that say in the area of public education, the state “must respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching is in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.” The school, they said, “must not invade the field of education within the family."

The parents said, “The appropriate and necessary fight against bullying and all forms of discrimination cannot be manipulated by anyone or used to spread messages of other kinds, such as the affirmation of gender identity."

They have launched a petition to stop the ECOS Project, citing the Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Gabriele Toccafondi, who has said that schools cannot be “an ideological battleground” and has blocked a plan to send “gender theory” materials to schools at the national level.

“We oppose this activity,” they said, “with the means at our disposal and in each location … because we want a school without ideologies.”

According to the Province of Florence website, the Circolo Didattico di Pontassieve (Learning Circle) has secured €7500 of regional funds “to make a representation of elastic gender roles” of “males and females in terms of desirability, responsibility, emotions and behaviors.” The project is to “promote critical distancing from gender stereotypes that block or hinder the development of lifestyle choices, study, work; promoting the use of personal preferences also with respect to the rejection of pre-established patterns of gender.” 

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The group’s spokesman, Francesco Innocenti, said that if their demand that the program be dropped is ignored, “we will put in place actions and events such as conscientious objection and consider the possibility of not enrolling or re-enrolling children in schools” of Pontassieve.

The group will “analyze all aspects of unclear messages on gender identity and the theories that underlie it which are not relevant to the fight against bullying, homophobia and discrimination of any kind, but they seem to be contained in the folds of the project.” Parents are scheduled to meet with school leaders in the coming days.

The program was initiated with funding from the Province of Florence by the PAWA (People in Action for World Awareness) and IREOS, which is the local Florence affiliate of ILGA Europe, a homosexual activist group funded by the European Union and billionaire social engineer George Soros.

The parents cited the admission of IREOS’ website that “makes several references to their work as a political battle” in the area of “gender.”

“The ECOS project, in our opinion, is an activity that sends subliminal messages and interferes with the educational work carried out by parents,” the parents said.

While a project to make “diversity education” standard throughout Italy’s schools has been successfully blocked in Parliament, the same work is proceeding at the municipal level. It was recently blasted by the Archbishop of Turin who called it an attempt to turn local schools into “re-education camps” for the extreme left.

At the same time, a set of government guidelines instructs journalists never to portray homosexuals or “transsexuals” in a negative light. The document, created according to a mandate by the Council of Europe, threatens journalists with unnamed “professional sanctions” and even possible jail time for failing to comply.

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