Parents trying to keep gender ideology out of Bavarian schools
Editor's Note: The Demo für alle was scheduled to take place in Munich on July 27. Due to the terrorist attacks one day earlier, the city announced a state of emergency, therefore cancelling all large public events.
September 7, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — New highly-sexualized guidelines for sex-ed in public schools are currently on the way in the largely Catholic state of Bavaria, Germany.
The new guidelines were drafted in the beginning of 2016 and are supposed to replace the 2002 guidelines of the Bavarian ministry for culture and education. The intention announced to the public is to prevent sexual abuse and prepare the children for a society in which sexual content is omnipresent. Yet it is questionable if this intention will give rise to genuine improvement.
LifeSiteNews spoke with Hedwig von Beverfoerde, German pro-life activist, foundress of the “Initiative Familienschutz” (“Initiative for the Protection of the Family”), and organizer of the “Demo für alle,” i.e. the German edition of the French “Manif pour tous.” She is member of the Christian Democratic Party of Germany and has an educational background in European politics and business management. Regarding the recent draft of sex-ed guidelines, Beverfoerde initiated a protest campaign in Bavaria and she revealed her reasons to LifeSite.
The interview was conducted in German.
LifeSiteNews: Mrs. v. Beverfoerde, why do you protest the new guidelines for sexual education in Bavaria?
Hedwig von Beverfoerde: We as Bavarian citizens want no gender ideology or sexual diversity (education) in Bavarian schools. The background for this discussion is that the ministry for health wants to publish new guidelines for the sexual education of children. Currently they are still in draft, but we want to stop this draft from gaining legal status, unless it is dramatically changed. The draft includes new guidelines and alterations of previous content – still in practice today – and moves toward a gender ideology and a sexualization of society. We hope to achieve the removal of gender ideology.
LifeSiteNews: What problems do you see with the changes made to the guidelines of 2002?
Hedwig von Beverfoerde: The current Bavarian guidelines for sexual education are actually very good. This new draft includes part of the hitherto valid guidelines as a basis but with changes, more or less drastic. For instance, in the past, there was an established “Week for Life.” In the new draft, this week was reduced to an “action day for life.” Family and marriage are still named as such and as a goal for the education, but now in addition, the same sentence includes “stable partnerships.” Overall, you get the impression that the guidelines make a case for life family; but at the same time, new goals are included which are contrary to the old ones. The [new] education plan includes not just marriage and family but puts them equal to undefined stable “partnerships,” which de facto neutralizes the first goal. Marriage is defended in one sentence, but in the following sentence the right to reproductive self-determination is promoted. Who does not understand the key terms, does not understand that here gender and abortion slogans are being wedged in.
LifeSiteNews: Who is behind the changes? Are the changes connected with the group that in February 2016 in Bavaria organized an advanced vocational training took place with the theme: “Diversity competence – identity and gender?” Main speakers were Professor Uwe Sielert and Elisabeth Tuider. They also published a homonymous book for school use. Can you explain what this book is about?
Hedwig von Beverfoerde The book is a methodical book in which examples for teaching methods are proposed for how to include sexual diversity into the schools and concretely the classroom. Every thinkable form of partnership, save pedophilia obviously, is proposed. It reads like pornography, to be honest. I have bought and read it. The suggestions given there include instructions for children on how to construct a model of a brothel for all kinds of sexual preferences and desires that you could think of. The book explains how anal sex works and more; it is truly unbelievable. This shows clearly how behind this so-called pedagogy of diversity, a clear intention is to sexualize children. This became very famous after we pointed a finger at it and disclosed it to the public. For two years it has caused waves of shock and horror in Germany by everybody who got to know about it. But now in Bavaria an advanced vocational training has taken place by the very authors of this book, the great names of sexual pedagogy: Professor Sielert and Elisabeth Tuida and others. These are the people who stand behind this ideology and already now they educate teachers in Bavaria. If the parents would see where the great dangers lie, then they would understand what lies beneath. It is a targeted destruction of modesty and I can only imagine what the true reason behind it is.
LifeSiteNews: The guidelines seem to suggest that the gender ideology is weaved into the whole school education. Can you comment?
Hedwig von Beverfoerde There is an array of specific gender ideology concepts and words which are scattered all over these guidelines. An essential difference to the existing guidelines is the classes in which the sexual education is taught. Biology regarding biological reproductive information and religion and ethics regarding the values of marriage and family — up until now it was taught in these. But now, the education is supposed to be included in all courses. The sexual education is supposed to be included in the whole set of courses of the child. So you cannot really protect your children from it. As parents, you cannot really make out when these topics are discussed.
LifeSiteNews: It is therefore harder to protect your children. Are there alternatives, for example homeschooling?
Hedwig von Beverfoerde: Unfortunately not. Germany is one of the few countries in which homeschooling is forbidden. We have compulsory school attendance which is kept in practice with an iron fist. There were many families who have tried to homeschool, in vain. It is really a battle ground. Parents and families have no chance to protect their children from this kind of content in classes. They are at the mercy of the school curriculum. The state in particular forces children to absorb these concepts. Therefore, it is very questionable if the statement that sexual education is not imposed by the state, as included in the preamble of the new guidelines, is true. It is one thing is to say it, and another to do it. Those are two different pairs of shoes. Indoctrination is made possible in this case. That is fact.
LifeSiteNews: Have you received support from the Catholic Church in Germany? Bavaria is still a pretty Catholic state within the landscape of Germany.
Hedwig von Beverfoerde: We received very meager help. I don’t want to say none, that would not be true either, but indeed it is regrettably measly. Though one has to say that there is not a single Catholic church — she is rather made up of dioceses and each bishop has his own position towards these topics. They are obviously hidden in the German bishop’s conference. Overall, the German church is defined by her structures. She is a gigantic apparatus made up of daily paid workers within the structures, bureaucrats you might say. Gender ideology has already set foot into the church. It is growing along with the whole question of homosexuality. A large portion of the paid workers within the Church are indeed very open to the demands by the homo-lobby and even some bishops themselves. Every bishop who would support us is immediately pressured by the conference. I hope that one day the bishops will realize that this is an important field in which they should show their colors and have to show their colors, and that they have the power to change the situation. The main reason why this whole topic is so controversial is the inner tension of the Catholic Church in Germany. That is my impression.
LifeSiteNews: Since the “Demo für alle” had to be cancelled in Munich in July, what are the steps you are taking to fight the legalization of the new guidelines?
Hedwig von Beverfoerde: The guidelines are not published and approved yet. The situation is tense. After the demonstration was cancelled, we filed a request to the minister of culture, Mr. Spaenle, to engage in discussion with us regarding the re-working of the guidelines. After some back and forth, the minister has indeed invited us to a discussion with him in person which will take place next week. From this discussion it will be evident if they are open to engage, or instead if they will go ahead as they had planned without hearing us. We are expecting the latter, but who knows ...