Displaying items by tag: Children

Friday, 20 January 2023 05:17

Online Safety Bill changes

New plans to change the online safety bill will see the UK come one step closer towards making the internet a safe place for young people by preventing access to content that promotes suicide, eating disorders and self-harm. The amendment will give the act additional teeth to deliver change and ensure that people are held to account if they fail to properly protect children. Christian charity CARE welcomed the amendment but said further action still needs to be taken. They would like to see the government go further to protect children from the specific harms caused by pornography and for children to be afforded the same protections in the online world as they are offline.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 24 November 2022 21:02

USA: after-school Satan club

Golden Hills Elementary School in California is facing backlash from parents after promoting an after-school Satan club aimed at children as young as five. The controversial club is scheduled to hold monthly meetings starting in December. It was created by the Satanic Temple - not to be confused with the Church of Satan - as an antidote to the evangelical Christian groups cropping up in public schools. The organisation’s website states, ‘The Satanic Temple does not advocate for religion in schools. However, once religion invades schools, as the Good News Clubs have, the Satanic Temple will fight to ensure that plurality and true religious liberty are respected.’ In this instance, the after-school club was created in response to the Good News Club, a weekly Christian programme for 5- to 12-year-olds at the school. Many parents believe the Satan club is a Trojan horse to promote devil worship in schools.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 01 September 2022 21:52

'Black hole' of child suicide

Suicide is the biggest killer of people aged under 35 in the UK. ‘However bad you feel, this will pass. You are not alone, things will look different tomorrow.’ That is what Pete would have said to his only child, Jamie, if he had been able to read his suicide note before he died. Jamie was one of 1,621 young people under 35 who took their own lives in 2019. After Pete had struggled to cope with his death for two years, he read about three fathers going through the same thing. Known as the ‘Three Dads’, Andy, Mike and Tim walked 300 miles, in memory of their three daughters, to raise £3,000 for suicide prevention charity Papyrus. They eventually raised over £800,000. Over 200 school children commit suicide every year. They say we are doing nothing to equip young people with understanding and skills that could allow them to save themselves.

Published in British Isles
Friday, 19 August 2022 00:26

Protests at drag queen’s storytelling events

In July furious parents stormed a Drag Queen Story Hour for three- to 11-year-olds in Reading central library, the first venue in a UK-wide two month library tour. The event descended into chaos after the parents broke in and screamed abuse in front of the children. As they threatened to perform a ‘citizens’ arrest’ and accused the drag queen of paedophilia, the police had to step in to bring calm. The final story hour, in Cardiff, was also targeted by protesters with placards and banners, saying it was inappropriate for children. Many people came to support the event, wearing clothes adorned with the rainbow flag. Sab (drag character Aida H Dee) says the stories provide a positive experience about queer culture and deliver a positive role model for people to look up to. Sab moved to Cardiff to capitalise on its flourishing LGBTQ community. and thinks it wouldn’t have thrived without the support Wales gives to that community. Cardiff councillors received 143 letters of complaints about these story times.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 28 July 2022 22:58

Drag Queen story time for three-year-olds

Parents have concerns over ‘highly inappropriate’ drag queen story time sessions for children as young as three. The Story Hour summer tour starts next week, performing to as many as 3,000 three- to eleven-year-olds at sixty public libraries in England and Wales. The sessions include reading children’s books about same-sex relationships. Outraged parents wrote to their local councils expressing their concerns about the highly sexualised events. Their letters, co-ordinated by the Family Education Trust, say, ‘Drag shows are adults-only entertainment and not suitable for school-age children’. The letters also criticised promotion of radical gender ideology and stated, ‘To try to blind children to a most basic fact of human existence is a form of child abuse. Children who experience gender identity issues need careful and sensitive care, not wholesale indoctrination.’ In response Drag Queens organised online fundraising for ‘Mermaids charity’, which promotes puberty-blocking drugs and surgery for children who are confused about their gender.

Published in British Isles

The Church of England has urged the Government to ensure age verification systems are put in place to protect under-18s from online pornography. The widespread availability of porn to children means they are growing up in a culture where violent, degrading and harmful sexual activity is being normalised. In 2017, porn checks were approved by Parliament under the Digital Economy Act but plans to implement them were abandoned in 2019 when the Government claimed they would be covered by future legislation. The abandoned Online Safety Bill stated, ‘pornographic websites could face large fines and risk being blocked if they do not have age verification systems in place to prevent children from accessing content.’ But now the Government announced, ‘further parliamentary consideration of the Bill is delayed until after the summer recess.’

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 28 April 2022 23:52

Deadly outbreak of children’s hepatitis

Officials said a lack of exposure to common infections during young children’s ‘formative’ years, owing to pandemic measures, may be fuelling a global outbreak of hepatitis, the deadly liver disease. A total of 114 cases of ‘acute hepatitis of unknown origin’ have been reported in Britain since the first spate of cases was detected in Scotland less than four weeks ago. Health officials said they had detected as many cases in the past three months as they would normally expect to see in a year; the vast majority of cases involved children aged five and under. Experts have previously raised concerns about the long-term impact of lockdown on children's education and physical and mental health. However, this is the most serious potential health complication to have emerged so far. Liver experts said these cases may be the ‘tip of the iceberg’, as some symptoms could be missed.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 21 April 2022 21:16

Nadhim Zahawi rejects smacking children ban

Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said he does not believe the state should be ‘nannying’ parents about the way they bring up their children. He has rejected the call to ban smacking children in England, saying, ‘Parents are entitled to discipline their children. My very strong view is we must trust parents on this. They should be entitled to discipline their children. There is a very big difference between a “light smack on the arm” and child abuse.’ Dame Rachel De Souza, the children's commissioner, has signalled her support for changing the law to give children the same protection from assault as adults. Wales has made illegal any type of corporal punishment, including smacking, hitting, slapping or shaking illegal. In England and Northern Ireland, smacking a child is unlawful, but is allowed as long as it constitutes ‘reasonable punishment’.

Published in British Isles
Friday, 15 April 2022 04:44

Christian freedoms

For six years, Kristie was a pastoral assistant at a secondary school. When her school notified staff of a 'No Outsiders' programme to be introduced Kristie went to a meeting to find out more. No Outsiders introduces young children to ideas about family and gender that are very different from Biblical teaching. She was concerned and did further research and shared a couple of posts on Facebook. But one of Kristie's Facebook ‘friends’ sent her Facebook posts to the school’s headteacher complaining that ‘a member of your staff, working directly with children has posted homophobic and prejudiced views against the lgbt community on Facebook.’ Kristie was sacked for gross misconduct. Her appeal was denied. She appealed but the decision was upheld. Kristie took her case to an Employment Tribunal but they ruled against her. In a few weeks’ time an Employment Appeal Tribunal will conduct their hearing. 

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 10 February 2022 21:19

Safer internet for children

On 8 February, the day dedicated to safer internet, the department for culture, media and sport and MP Chris Philp published the Online Safety Bill, which will force pornography websites to prevent underage access including by using age verification technologies. They believe that children will be better protected from online pornography under the new measures in the Government’s pioneering new internet safety laws. Pray that all sites that publish pornography will successfully put robust checks in place to ensure their users are over 18 and that no one slips through the safety net. If sites fail to act, Ofcom will be able to fine them up to 10% of their annual worldwide turnover or can even block them from being accessible in the UK. Bosses of these websites could also be held criminally liable if they fail to cooperate with Ofcom.

Published in British Isles
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