Christian Legal Centre’s Roger Kiska examines the spread of transgender ideology in schools.
The growing contagion in our schools of gender confused children is not new news. In 2017-2018 alone, there were an astonishing 2,519 referrals of gender confused children to gender identity clinics in the UK. That is a 25 percent increase from only one year earlier. The shocking nature of these statistics is made all the more sobering when we look back less than a decade ago, to 2009, when only 97 such referrals were made.
Our national newspapers are full of such stories seemingly every week. However, many people in the United Kingdom still see this phenomenon as something that doesn’t affect them if they are not from one of our big cities. The Mail on Sunday, however, published a story this past weekend about a case, supported by Christian Concern, showing that the transgender agenda is spreading out to the most remote parts of the nation and that parental rights are not only being ignored, they are being actively undermined.
Radical campaigning groups in our schools
The controversial campaigning group Mermaids has provided training for this school and many others, flouting statutory obligations by demanding that parents not be told when gender identity policies are put in place. This is radically changing the way in which their children are being taught about gender and basic biology, and forcing children into adherence under the threat of being labelled as transphobic.
They have taken on a bully pulpit to strike fear and moral shaming into school stafftelling them that if they do not do exactly what gender confused children want of them, or follow the exact letter of what those children’s parents are telling them to do, these children will commit suicide, the staff member could lose their job or the matter might even become more serious than that.
Compassion means making hard choices
We can never forget that compassion and true Christian love means making hard choices, even when an easy fix might be the attractive solution. No one wants a child to suffer, whether it’s because of gender confusion or otherwise. But the reality is that up to 98% of children suffering from gender confusion naturally resolve these feelings and find congruity with their birth sex with the onset of puberty.
However, repetition and reinforcement by teachers and parents of the disjunctive belief about a child’s gender in relation to their biological sex also has some effect on the structure and function of that child’s brain. This phenomenon is known as neuroplasticity, and it means that a child who is encouraged to impersonate the opposite sex is less likely to reverse course later in life.
While at best policies which affirm a child in their gender confusion may be viewed as a basically harmless expedient to make a child feel better about themselves during a difficult time in their lives, the reality is that there is substantial evidence that such an approach is harmful (despite the best intentions of those thinking that they are actually helping the child).
The American College of Paediatricians, for example, recently declared:
“There is an obvious self-fulfilling nature to encouraging young [gender-dysphoric] children to impersonate the opposite sex and then institute pubertal suppression. If a boy who questions whether or not he is a boy (who is meant to grow into a man) is treated as a girl, then has his natural pubertal progression to manhood suppressed, have we not set into motion an inevitable outcome? All of his same-sex peers develop into young men, his opposite sex friend develop into young women, but he remains a pre-pubertal boy. He will be left psycho-socially isolated and alone.”
Safeguarding and parental rights supersede equality considerations
While schools are increasingly embracing gender ideology, often with the support or direct guidance of their Local Authority, a fundamental principle of law has been ignored. A school’s equality duty can never trump its safeguarding obligations nor its statutory duty to respect the right of other parents in the school community by not undermining the manner in which they wish to raise their children in accordance to their own religious or philosophical convictions. This has been defined by the highest court in Europe to mean that no form of moral indoctrination can be undertaken by our schools. This position is reinforced by the Education Act 1996 which similarly forbids political indoctrination of this kind.
No matter how one wishes to dress it up, promoting gender ideology in our schools and ideas from radical campaigning groups like Mermaids is precisely that; it is forcing a campaigning agenda which many parents find controversial onto our children under the dubious auspices that some kind of non-existent legal requirement obliges schools to do so.
Equality and self-determination are the great governing idioms of the current cultural zeitgeist. The equality agenda has advanced to such a point that now it reaches into the innermost aspects of family life, including childcare. Tolerance however is not love. Real love requires more of us than to merely affirm a child in their gender confusion. Gender Identity Disorder is rarely, if ever, cured by mere affirmation. It is a condition that brings with it serious symptoms including suicidality and self-harming at rates far higher than any other segment of the population. As a society, we can do better by children suffering with gender confusion. For the sake of future generations, we must do better.
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