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Get them while they’re young

School policies trigger rise in transgenderism among children

Artillery Row

Ten years ago, if you had asked the general population, what the difference was between gender-fluid, gender non-conforming, transgender and transsexual, few could have told you. Today, our primary school children can not only answer that question but may find themselves, with or without their and their parents’ knowledge, in class with a “trans kid”. Such is the all pervasive influence of the campaigners who have shaped the teaching on this in our schools.

Have you heard of the Cornwall Guidelines? Chances are that you haven’t. They are referenced in the Department for Education’s guidelines on how to deal with the issue in schools. Now the Cornwall Guidelines have found their way into thousands of primary schools, without proper critique but with profound effect.

The Rowes started their legal action in 2017 when they were told that unless they believed that six- and eight-year-old “trans kids” really were the sex they were identifying with, that they were “transphobes”.

The Rowes, concerned for the well-being not just of those children but their own, and the wider school community, produced hundreds of pages of scientific evidence from around the world in support of their position and asked the Secretary of State for Education to intervene.

Child referrals to the Gender Identity Development Service have more than tripled

He declined, saying there was “no evidence” to suggest that the school had “promoted partisan political views to its pupils or brought political issues to the attention of its pupils”. He said the matter had nothing to do with education, it was all about meeting the needs of all children without compromising the rights of the “transgender” child.

At a hearing in the High Court last week, Lord Justice Lane disagreed. He found it was arguable that education had a wider definition than the Secretary of State was describing; that it was more than “textbooks and curriculum”; that the culture and sex education policies set by the school could be described as education. He also said that it was arguable that the Secretary of State had failed to pay due regard to the scientific evidence the Rowes had put forward.

The case goes to the heart of the policies and practices implemented in schools around safeguarding of children as young as four. It is striking that since the Cornwall Guidelines were published in 2015, child referrals to the Gender Identity Development Service have more than tripled. How we educate our children in schools through our sex education and trans policies has a real-life impact.

Tragically, research evidence collated in the past five years, also proves that children who identify as transgender suffer disproportionately from severe mental illness. It shows that if comorbidities are treated early, nearly 90 per cent of children dealing with gender dysphoria will be reconciled to their biological sex by adulthood. If our schools’ policies promote, normalise and encourage children to believe they are “trans” without addressing their comorbidities, many more children will undergo drastic and life altering social transition, drugs and surgery.

Treating people like bullies for not believing gender ideology hardly fosters good relations

The current law set out in the Gender Recognition Act 2004 makes clear that only over-18s who have lived out in the opposite gender for two years can have their adopted gender recognized in law. Trans campaigners stretch out other legislation, such as the Equality Act 2010, to make it appear to apply to under-18s, but it is this soft law, or people’s misconceptions about it, that has led to documents like the Cornwall Guidelines being followed without question.

Enshrining gender ideology, in a well-meaning but flawed attempt to make children’s life easier, may be shown to breach Public Sector Equality Duty, which requires public bodies to “foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not”. Treating people like the Rowes and their young children as if they are bullies for not believing in gender ideology hardly fosters good relations.

The Rowe case demonstrates that our children follow, in their behaviour, life choices and belief, what education policies and systems set out. The Secretary of State for Education should take this very seriously.

The Rowes did not mean to start a case. They simply questioned the school’s policies on transgenderism. Five years later, the case is of national significance pertaining to how we educate not just those children who are vulnerable, but all our children. Its importance cannot be understated.

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