This is one giant reason why President Trump’s nomination for the Supreme Court seat vacated by the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy matters: the innocence of children.
This week, in Great Britain, the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, known as Ofsted, denounced Yesodey Hatorah, an Orthodox Jewish school for girls in London, stating that it was “inadequate.” Why?
As the BBC reported, here are some of the reasons: the girls were not permitted to study animal or human reproduction and studies on global warming were restricted; the girls were not allowed to socialize with boys; “pupils have no opportunity to compete in inter-school sport, participate in events or visit universities,” and "the majority of pictures in books on major artists such as Picasso had been blanked out.”
Yet Ofsted praised pupils' overall achievement, happiness and safety at school.
As Sohrab Ahmari noted in Commentary, “Students didn’t learn much by way of sex education and especially about homosexuality, which, according to an earlier report, deprived them of ‘a full understanding of fundamental British values’ and limited their ‘spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and [did] not promote equality of opportunity in ways that take account of differing lifestyles.’”
Ahmari quoted Giles Fraser writing in March for UnHerd, “Modesty is an important virtue for the Haredim, and that is reflected in their dress–no trousers for women, white shirts and black coats for the men–and also in their desire to protect their children from what they see as early sexualization.”
Fraser wrote, “As I wandered around the corridors, the atmosphere was quiet and studious, calm even. None of the girl’s school lockers was locked, despite containing their valuables. Stealing is unheard of here. Even the local Sainsbury’s waives the usual two at a time rule for schoolchildren when it comes to Yesoday Hatorah girls. The girls know to stand respectfully as visitors enter the room, and they listen to their teachers. A few years after opening the new building, the school was the top of the Department of Education’s league table for value-added student progress.”
Fraser continued by noting an inspection conducted by Ofsted members: “The Ofsted inspectors obviously came with a fixed agenda, they wanted to talk to the girls about sex. And those who told me about it were obviously made to feel extremely uncomfortable by the questions. Three girls complained to the Principal and he told them to explain that to the inspectors. They did–but that only made matters worse, and invited further interrogation. They were very upset by the whole process. ‘This felt like an attack,’ one of them said, ‘because under no circumstances did we want to discuss things that we were brought up our entire lives not to discuss.’”
Ahmari pointed out:
The attack on Yesodey Hatorah is part of a larger campaign against religious education in the U.K. Faithful Jews, Catholics, and Muslims are all targets. Former Education Secretary Justine Greening laid bare the agenda last year in an interview with Sky News. “We have allowed same-sex marriage,” she said. “That’s a massive step forward for the better. And for me, I think people do want to see our major faiths keep up with modern attitudes.” Senior government adviser Louise Casey expressed similar sentiments at the House of Commons: “It is not OK for Catholic schools to be . . . anti-gay marriage. I have a problem with the expression of religious conservatism because I think often it can be anti-equalities.”