Councils forced to review dangerous trans guidance

30 April 2020

Two councils in England have been forced to review their transgender guidance for schools following pressure from pupils and parents.

Unlawful trans guidance in Oxfordshire

Last week, a High Court judge ruled that Oxfordshire County Council’s ‘Trans Inclusion Toolkit for Schools 2019’ is ‘arguably unlawful’, after a 13-year-old girl launched a legal case against the council in February.

The case is being supported by Safe Schools Alliance UK, which will argue that the guidance is seriously flawed and poses a risk to children. The Oxfordshire ‘Trans Inclusion Toolkit for Schools 2019’ instructs schools to identify ‘transgender children’ who are very young or have special needs by observing their actions, such as they toys they play with, and encourages them to ‘read’ gendered stereotypes and to begin treating them as that sex. It also instructs schools to allow young boys to use the girls’ toilets, changing rooms and dormitories on residential trips without parents’ knowledge.

The teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said, “Under these guidelines I have no right to privacy from the opposite sex in changing rooms, loos or on residential trips.

“The guidance makes me feel that my desire for privacy, dignity, safety, and respect is wrong.”

The girl’s mother stated this week that she was “astounded” that her daughter’s concerns had not been taken seriously: “The more my daughter reads that gender identity is more important than her status as a young woman, the more frustrated she becomes, because she knows that she is entitled to female-only spaces, to compete in female-only competitions and to sleep in female-only dorms.”

Safe Schools Alliance is now crowdfunding to raise money for the case, which is due to be heard in the Autumn.

Warwickshire County Council shelves trans guidance

Similarly, parents have forced council leaders in Warwickshire to drop their guidance that also allowed ‘transitioning’ pupils to use the girls’ toilets, changing rooms and dormitories.

Warwickshire County Council’s ‘Trans Toolkit’ states that young boys who identify as female should sleep where they feel most comfortable.” However, parents objected that this ‘discounted’ the rights of their daughters.

The guidance has now been suspended for 300 schools across the county and placed under review due to concerns that the document breached safeguarding duties.

Speaking to The Times, Tessa McInnes, who has two children in Warwickshire schools, said: “The equal rights of girls are simply discounted and disregarded in this guidance. If they express any discomfort about a male coming into their spaces, the girl is presented as transphobic and told to go and change somewhere else. It’s outrageous and defies the Equality Act 2010.”

This comes as the county also recently scrapped its All About Me programme, a Relationships and Sex Education guide which encouraged children as young as six to ‘self-stimulate’.

Trans guidance across the country

Oxfordshire and Warwickshire are not the only counties to have issued this kind of guidance. It is estimated that at least a dozen local authorities have issued ‘trans toolkits’ to schools across the country, backed by transgender lobby groups. However, Safe Schools Alliance is hopeful to that if they are successful in their case against Oxfordshire County Council, other toolkits and resources that are used by councils across the country will also be found unlawful.

Tim Dieppe, Head of Public Policy at Christian Concern, commented: “It is encouraging that the High Court judge has recognised the danger and risks of issuing transgender guidance to schools. The Court must now recognise the illegality of guidance like this and act to protect the young girls these toolkits ignore. Concerned parents, pupils and teachers should be encouraged that protesting these materials and guidelines does make a difference. More councils across the country should scrap these guidelines and toolkits, steering well clear of transgender lobby groups who seek to push this dangerous agenda onto young children.”

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