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London Jewish Schools Facing Potential Closure for Refusing to Teach ‘Alternative Lifestyles’

from VIN News by Sandy Eller:

One of three Orthodox Jewish girls’ schools in London that failed government inspections for refusing to teach respect and tolerance for the LGBT community is facing possible closure by the Department of Education.

The Vishnitz Girls School in Hackney did not meet the required criteria in its third consecutive inspection by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Schools, also known as Ofsted, because the school’s curriculum does not include material on alternative lifestyles as required by the 2010 Equality Act.

According to the Ofsted report issued on May 10th, school officials were not able to demonstrate that it taught tolerance for those who have “protected characteristics.”

“This restricts pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and does not promote equality of opportunity in ways that take account of differing lifestyles.”

The school teaches girls ages three to eleven and has 212 students.

The Equality Act was created to protect United Kingdom citizens from discrimination and requires all schools to teach “fundamental British values” including different sexual orientations and transgender lifestyles. While religious schools are allowed to teach the relevant subject matter subject according to the tenets of their faith, the material cannot be presented in a discriminatory way.

Officials at the Vishnitz Girls School acknowledged their failure to cooperate with the Equality Act in October, indicating that they could not meet the government standards. While the school has shown improvement in multiple areas including safety, staffing, accommodations and education, the Ofsted report still found the school to be lacking in quality of education because its continued failure to provide instruction on sexual orientation would provide students with “a limited understanding of the different lifestyles and partnerships that individuals may choose in present-day society.”

Failure to comply with the Equality Act can result in a school being removed from the registry of independent schools, making it a criminal act to keep the school in operation.

Two other Orthodox Jewish girls schools in London also failed their most recent inspection for similar reasons. While a July 2013 Ofsted reported categorized Bnos Zion of as a good school, the most recent report released last week said that Bnos Zion failed to comply with the Equality Act because it did not provide students with instruction on LGBT lifestyles. Beis Ruchel D’Satmar also received failing grades in its May 2017 Ofsted report and all other Orthodox Jewish schools in the United Kingdom are likely facing similar reviews.

Gill Robins of the Christians in Education blog said that the idea that the report gave the Vishnitz Girls School a failing grade and ignores the fact that the school has met most of the necessary criteria indicates that alternative lifestyles are a higher priority than religious rights to Ofsted, reported Heat Street.

“The Equality Act is actually hierarchical, with sexual orientation and gender reassignment at the apex of the Act,” wrote Gill Robins. “All equalities are equal, but some equalities are more equal than others.”

24 Comments

  • 1. If the school is actually closed down... wrote:

    If the school is actually closed down, that seems to be the end of England’s frum population. How can English Frum jews continue to live in a place where they can’t educate their kids?

  • 3. Hashem Yiracheim!! wrote:

    First they wanted rights, now they want all our kids to learn about them…
    Next we cant teach the Torah because it’s offensive!
    Interestingly, this is the same government who’s perfectly ok with the murder of charlie gard.

    • 5. yehudah braun wrote:

      No,
      Moab and Egypt…
      Sodom was destroyed for cruelty to poor people and guests.
      “Sodomy” is an english terminology.

    • 6. Meir wrote:

      No, Yehudah, they were also guilty of perversion: besides their attempt on Lot’s guests, see Sanhedrin 109a and Rashi there, that they were שטופים בזימה – steeped in sexual immorality.

  • 7. ch resident wrote:

    England is a beautiful place but i wont live there because there is no chinuch there. The schools are horendous

  • 9. America is not far behind wrote:

    America is not far behind
    Once they go down this road there is no bottom

  • 12. Fortunately wrote:

    The Europeans comeuppance is already well underway. With their changing demographics, they will go straight from teaching lgbt tolerance to throwing lgbtqrstuvs off buildings.

  • 13. I support this requirement wrote:

    I support the requirement for school to teach respect and tolerance for the LGBT community.
    Sounds like Ahavas Yisroel, and simple Menshlickeit to me.
    It’s not advocating to become LGBT.
    Alot of LGBT claim they were born like this, have some rachmones, and respect for all of Hashem’s creations, especially all people.

    • 14. Moishe wrote:

      The above comment sounds like it came from somebody who has an agenda to destroy innocent lives of Jewish kids.

    • 15. Citizen Berel wrote:

      Of course you do

      Teach my values to your children or I will close your schools at rifle point

      You aren’t a rachmon, you are a monster

    • 16. Milhouse wrote:

      Tolerance is all very well. So is acceptance of all individuals despite their wrongdoing. But OFSTED requires teaching that there is nothing wrong with sinners, whether it’s giluy arayos or avoda zara, that their choices are just as good as our own, that if a woman wakes up one morning and decides she is a man, or a pony, one must not just humor her but actually believe her. This cannot be part of a kosher chinuch, and if necessary one must be prepared to go to prison to resist it, just as our parents did in Russia.

  • 17. Moishe pipek wrote:

    Britania rules the waves? or does Britania wave goodbuy?

  • 18. Reader wrote:

    Teaching something is wrong is not teaching in a discriminating way. If someone does an act that is wrong and one doesn’t approve of the act does not mean that one is discriminating against the person doing the act but that the person does not approve of that behavior. The schools should teach the Rambam like the Rebbe said, including laws against such acts. Then they could tell the students that the behavior is very wrong and then teach them chater 32 of Tanya about hating the evil people do but love their soul on those not on their level yet.

  • 19. Lubavitch school in london wrote:

    The lubavitch schools in London, which are funded by the government have been teaching these topics for a couple of years. The rabbinic authority of the schools has allowed such lessons to take place.

    • 21. UK resident wrote:

      Such a vague statement that’s trying to come across as authoritative.

    • 22. Gershon wrote:

      I believe my sisters have had these classes. They were given a lesson or two where this was discussed by a senior member of the Kodesh staff. Incidentally, LGBTQ tolerance has become a major issue for UK jewry of late. Also it happens within the frum community too, so we may as well start to deal with it.

  • 24. May as well go across the board wrote:

    So, then the government should require respect for znus. incest, drug use, streaking (bothers anyone, just don’t look), etc.

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