Should primary school children learn about gender identity?

15 December 2017

Carys Moseley looks at three recent attempts to normalise transgender identity in primary schools.

This Advent season, three news stories have surfaced of the idea of ‘gender identity’ being pushed onto children of primary school age. This is part of a non-stop campaign of normalising gender dysphoria in the United Kingdom.

The first instance was of books aimed at children of nursery school age by LGBT charity Educate and Celebrate, which has received funding from the Department for Education in the past. Elly Barnes, the music teacher who started the charity, clearly sees children’s minds as a blank slate on which can be written various ideologies, as she told the press ‘our children are not born racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic’. Note the typical pretence that opposition to transgender ideology is like racism. The real purpose of such rhetoric is to brand critics as being beyond the pale, people who should be socially ostracised, shamed and shunned.

This matters because the partner organisations of Educate and Celebrate include a large number of prominent educational organisations and teaching unions, such as the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, NASUWT, the National Union of Teachers, Teach First, the Association of Schools and College Leaders and the Boarding Schools’ Association. We have to ask whether teachers who are members of these organisations realise what they stand for here?

NHS questionnaire for 10-year olds on gender identity

The second story surfaced last week when the Telegraph reported that Lancashire Care NHS Trust had sent out a questionnaire to 10 year-old children (Year 6) asking them two questions on gender identity:

“Are you Boy/Girl/Other?”
“Do you feel the same inside as the gender you were born with? (feeling male or female)”

You can view the original questionnaire here. In this instance parents and two MPs, Tim Loughton, formerly Children’s Minister, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, criticised these questionnaires as intrusive and inappropriate. These protests led to the questionnaire being removed within one day. This is very important as it shows what ordinary people concerned about children’s welfare can do to counter the persistence of the transgender lobby in aiming to influence and recruit children. Nevertheless it is still unacceptable that the trust has said that they will move away from asking all children this question to ‘a more targeted approach’, as this is still an attempt at influencing children. Indeed the very language of ‘targeting’ is sinister. What criteria are adults using to decide which children need ‘targeting’? There needs to be a complete halt to asking these questions of any children. Who within the NHS and local schools will take a stand and call for this?

Irresponsible head teachers team up with activists

The National Association of Headteachers consulted with the ubiquitous Stonewall to prepare guidelines on books for schools. They say that books for primary school children should feature transgender children and also transgender parents. However the poll currently run by Chronicle Live shows most people do not think schools should have to do this. Every time a snap poll has been conducted in recent months about transgender ideology driving public policy, most people have come out against it, be it with dismissing a teacher for ‘misgendering’ a child, allowing male offenders into women’s prisons or changing diplomatic language at the United Nations so that transgender people are not offended by reference to ‘pregnant women’. The public clearly aren’t buying all this normalisation of transgenderism, and neither are parents. The question is who in the teaching profession will take a stand to put an end to it all?

Children are confused and upset by transgenderism

All of this is seriously harmful to children. They are confused and upset, even traumatised by it all. Last year parents and MPs criticised the BBC for airing the show ‘Just a Girl’, about an eleven-year old boy who wants to become a girl and wants puberty blockers to achieve this goal. One mother said that her daughter was very upset and became confused wondering whether she herself was a boy. The show was aimed at six-year old children.

The other problem is that exposure to the whole idea of a mismatch between one’s inner sense of identity and one’s sex actually spreads the idea to children via the power of suggestion. The massive rise in referrals of children and young people to the Gender Identity Development Service in London is partly due to suggestion brought on by the constant stories about Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner and other, lesser transgender celebrities in mass media and on social media. There is also the relentless push for presentation of transgender characters on the BBC especially. This has all created an increasingly toxic climate where children are confused and lack the confidence to challenge what is going on.

Clearly some children are more susceptible than others to these problems. The temptation in our culture for those who realise this is to side with those children who appear not to be so deeply troubled. This is because too many adults now see children as small adults, ready to put up with adult concerns about gender identity as if it were like fashion. It isn’t an accident that all this is being pushed by glossy photos of boys in pink dresses. This appears to be just a bit of dressing-up, and appeals to people who wrongly imagine being male means being obnoxious. However, the fact that most children and adolescents now referred to GIDS are girls, many of whom want to be boys, challenges this deceitful marketing ploy. Those girls that undergo gender reassignment, and thus treated with puberty blockers, are eligible to receive testosterone at the age of 16, which would make them more aggressive. It is far more difficult to market transgendering children as ‘nice’, as sentimental and as normal when we realise this.

Take a stand for children’s health and happiness

Given the evident harm to children, gender identity issues should not be aired in primary schools at all. Parents and teachers need to make a concerted effort to prevent books and resources which aim to present gender identity issues, even covertly through symbolism, from getting into schools in the first place. Children only have one life. It is extremely difficult to undo psychological damage done to them in the early years. We owe it to them to protect their mental and physical health and their happiness by placing clear, unequivocal boundaries that exclude all transgender propaganda from their lives. They will be grateful for that when they are old enough to understand.

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