Teachers are powerless to resist trans activism in schools
Ofsted’s report on teaching sex, sexual orientation and gender reassignment is welcome. Schools have found themselves in the impossible position of having to assess the directions and resources of schools that promote an overtly political and ideological agenda under the guise of “diversity and inclusion”. Government directives have been confused and contradictory. The latest Ministry of Education guidelines on relationships and sex education indicate that schools should not use external resources that promote the idea that a child’s body is “bad” and yet report schools to Stonewall, one of the biggest culprits when it comes to “born into teaching the wrong body.” The DfE says the responsibility for assessing resources lies with individual schools, but how can schools make sense of such mixed messages?
The pressure on schools is exacerbated by the fact that this has become a public and toxic debate. The political controversy involves two of the protected characteristics that schools have a duty to teach: sex and gender change. Trans activists say men can legally identify themselves in spaces reserved for women, such as washrooms, locker rooms, shelters and prisons; women’s groups say that women and girls need women’s spaces for their privacy, comfort and safety and that this is a right protected by equality law. But anyone who does not fully agree with the demands of trans activists is described as “transphobic,” a fanatic or a hater.
Schools are therefore caught between a rock and a hard place. Implement the policies demanded by militant groups and risk legal challenge, resist those policies and risk your school’s reputation becoming transphobic and not inclusive.
In the absence of clear government guidelines, schools may be unaware that the materials they use represent only one facet of a contentious political issue, in violation of the 1996 Education Act which prevents the political indoctrination of children. Transgender and LGBT pressure groups have been given carte blanche to issue guidelines and push for policy change in schools, like unelected political parties. But how can teachers know that these “experts” are twisting the equality law? Teachers may feel uncomfortable about mixed toilets, locker rooms, residential accommodation, and sports, but without a comprehensive understanding of equality law, how can they challenge it? Teachers have been placed in the untenable position of having to ignore basic protection in order to follow guidelines recommended by their local authority.
There is another problem here apart from the legal one. These pressure groups teach “gender identity” – an ideological belief without scientific basis – as a fact: children are “transgender” because they are born with an innate sense of being a boy or a girl, that is. which may conflict with the gender they were. “Assigned at birth,” so the only legitimate way to support them is to “affirm” them as the sex they feel they are. Unqualified pressure groups have no authority to dictate a unique approach to individual children with gender dysphoria, but again, how can teachers know?
Unless schools are familiar with the research, they may not know that they are forced to take an experimental and activist approach to children, with no evidence to support its use in schools. Teachers may not be aware that, according to the globally established ‘watchful waiting’ approach, about 80% of children come out of their gender dysphoria and that these children are very likely to become gay or lesbian again. adulthood.
Some teachers may be aware of the unprecedented increase in the number of children referred to the Tavistock Foundation over the past eight years. They may also know that the sex ratio of referrals has changed and that it is teenage girls who now make up more than three-quarters of referrals, the majority with underlying mental health issues, autism or past trauma. Teachers may have read Keira Bell’s story and her anger that no one questions her belief that she really was a boy before embarking on a path of irreversible changes to her body. But how can we expect teachers to confidently navigate this sudden phenomenon of “transgender children” when even the education ministry promotes activist organizations that go against its own guidelines?
Stephanie Davies-Arai is the founder of Transgender Trend, an organization of parents, professionals and academics that calls for evidence-based care for children with gender dysphoria and science education in schools.