The FF Plus is in possession of a document outlining the Department of Basic Education's guidelines for the inclusion of different gender identities in schools. These guidelines have only been made available to a limited audience.
The executive authority provided vague replies to the FF Plus's questions about the matter, and also failed to respond to a Member’s Declaration about it that was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.
This failure reinforces the impression that the document is official, but is currently still being shielded from the public eye.
One of the guidelines stipulates that schools must construct private stalls in all bathrooms so that learners of any gender identity can get dressed and undressed or use the toilet in total privacy.
Additionally, no sign that assigns any bathroom to a specific gender may be displayed. All while many schools are still using pit latrines.
The document also provides administrative guidelines, including that learners may not be called by their so-called "dead name". That is the name they were given before their decision to identify with another gender.
The FF Plus's observation is that the ideology of radical individualism is hereby attempting to take control over education.
The general opinion is that every person is a free-floating individual who has a choice in everything – and in this case, even their gender.
According to radical individualism, community norms restrict the individual – self-fulfilment can only be achieved once those norms are abolished. Moreover, the only appropriate response from the family and members of the community is to support the individual's choices.
The FF Plus, however, has a different view of a person's place in the world. An individual person is inconceivable without the community – in fact, it is literally conceived by the community. Communities are made up of families and extended families, and ultimately form part of even larger communities, both cultural and political.
An orderly society cannot exist without community norms. And yet, within any community there are exceptions, people whose personal identities do not conform to the general community norms.
A totalitarian community that forcefully imposes its norms is indeed not ideal.
In a caring and functional community, exceptions are recognised and respected, but still considered exceptions.
Every aspect of the community, from marriage to bathrooms at schools, cannot be re-conceptualised as if the exception is the norm.
The FF Plus supports school governing bodies that want to maintain the community-approach in their schools.