Let Little Boys Wear Tiaras, ‘Church of England’ Tells Anglican Schools in New Guidance

Male pupils should also be free to dress up in a tutu or high heels without attracting any comment or observation, according to anti-bullying rules sent out by the Church yesterday.

(Daily Mail)  Boys as young as five should be able to wear tiaras at school without criticism, teachers in Church of England schools are to be told.

Male pupils should also be free to dress up in a tutu or high heels without attracting any comment or observation, according to anti-bullying rules sent out by the Church yesterday.tutu1

The instructions for the CofE’s 4,700 schools said they should not require children to wear uniforms that “create difficulty for trans pupils.” This appears to give official backing to schools that ban skirts to avoid discrimination against transgender children.  

Schools are also told they cannot use the Christian faith or Bible teachings to justify behavior that is considered to amount to bullying – for example, identifying a transgender pupil by a sex other than the one they have chosen. The advice contains instructions on how to report bullying, including sample forms on which teachers are encouraged to name the alleged bully and their target, and use tick boxes to describe what happened.

Examples include name-calling, social media trolling, or insulting gestures.

The rules to ‘challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying’ follow initial guidelines published by the Church three years ago which said being gay can be good and pupils should ‘revere and respect all members of the diverse community’.

The official teaching of the CofE, however, remains that gay sex is sinful and that members of the clergy should not be in an active sexual relationship with someone of the same sex. The Church also says marriage must continue to be between a man and a woman. 

Conservative Christian activists condemned the new rules yesterday.

Andrea Minichiello Williams of Christian Concern – an evangelical member of the CofE’s parliament, the General Synod – said: ‘These rules are unkind, unloving and lacking in compassion. We are all against bullying, but the Church is using these guidelines to pursue an agenda that runs counter to the Church’s teaching.’  

She added: ‘We are getting to the point where if you are not careful the slightest slip from the correct agenda in a Church of England school will get you punished. The anti-bullying agenda is aimed against people who step out of line – the anti-bullies are becoming the bullies.’

The new guidance came as a Christian teacher was suspended from a school in Oxfordshire after accidentally calling a transgender pupil ‘girl’ instead of ‘boy’. Joshua Sutcliffe, 27, faces a disciplinary hearing this week in which he could lose his job, after the parents complained.  

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Justin Welby said: ‘This guidance helps schools to offer the Christian message of love, joy and celebration of our humanity without exception or exclusion.

The CofE rules say children in nurseries and the primaries that make up the majority of Church schools should be free to follow their own inclinations when they dress. They state: ‘In the early years context and throughout primary school, play should be a hallmark of creative exploration.  

‘Pupils need to be able to play with the many cloaks of identity … Children should be at liberty to explore the possibilities of who they might be without judgment or derision. For example, a child may choose the tutu, princess’s tiara and heels and/or the fireman’s helmet, tool belt and superhero cloak without expectation or comment.’  

The guidance adds that there can be ‘no justification for this negative behaviour based on the Christian faith or the Bible’. It states that ‘the Church of England’s teaching on human sexuality and a range of Christian views should be taught, as well as a range of perspectives from other faiths and world views’.

The Most Rev Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: ‘Central to Christian theology is the truth that every single one of us is made in the image of God. Every one of us is loved unconditionally by God. This guidance helps schools to offer the Christian message of love, joy and celebration of our humanity without exception or exclusion.’

Roman Catholic schools are to cut the terms ‘mother’ and ‘father’ from admissions forms to avoid offending step-parents and same-sex couples.

It follows a complaint by a parent against Holy Ghost Roman Catholic Primary School in Wandsworth, south London, after it used ‘mother/guardian’ and ‘father/guardian’ on a form.

The Office of the Schools Adjudicator upheld the complaint, saying the wording might ‘be taken to imply that the school is restricting its definition [of parent]’.

The Catholic Education Service is understood to be preparing a form using ‘the family’ instead.

 

Children Fast-tracked into Gender Transition

Therapists willing to dig into the complexity of gender dysphoria and help children affirm their biological gender may now face legal trouble.

Parents, doctors, and pro-family groups in Britain this week sounded the alarm about the skyrocketing rate of children with complex psychological issues being streamlined into gender transition by the country’s National Health Service (NHS).

Britain’s The Daily Mail on Sunday ran a story about a rash of concerned parents joining an online community called Transgender Trend, self-described as “parents questioning the trans narrative.” The group said parents contact it because schools and clinics are blindly accepting their children’s assertions that they are transgender and pushing them into treatment without cautious evaluation.

The number of children being treated at the NHS Tavistock Clinic, which specializes in treating gender identity issues, has jumped from just under 100 in 2009 to over 2,000 in 2016, according to The Telegraph.

Parents say young celebrities—like American reality TV star Jazz Jennings or British YouTube sensation Alex Bertie—play into the craze by making transgenderism trendy and sex-change treatments seem cool, not scary.

One mother of a 15-year-old girl told The Daily Mail her daughter’s school referred her to an NHS therapist because she told teachers she was “stuck in the wrong body.” After a 40-minute therapy session, the girl was referred to the transgender clinic. The mom believes her daughter was groomed by a gay friend who told her she was ugly as a female and encouraged her transition. The girl, now 17, is undergoing testosterone treatments against her mother’s wishes.

Therapists willing to dig into the complexity of gender dysphoria and help children affirm their biological gender may now face legal trouble.

The U.K. Council for Psychotherapy this month issued a memorandum of understanding on conversion therapy that included “gender identity” alongside “sexual orientation.” Bans on so-called conversion therapy have previously been limited to sexual orientation. The new memorandum expands the limit to any counselors, therapists, and other clinical professionals who might do anything other than affirm individuals’ expression of their gender identity.

Despite language that the document does not intend to discourage those who have uncertain feelings around their gender identity from seeking professional help, critics argue the memorandum threatens the livelihood of professionals who may want to explore why a child or adult is claiming to be transgender.

“Some people may experience gender confusion for a host of complex reasons, but you have to ask yourself if the media’s fixation with these issues is causing some children to question their gender identity who may not otherwise have done so,” said Simon Calvert, deputy director of public affairs for the U.K.-based, pro-family group The Christian Institute, noting the movement is being led by politics and fashion, not medicine, science, or the best interests of children.

“Right now it seems a child who in any way questions their gender is put on a one-way conveyor belt to gender reassignment, and that is incredibly dangerous and damaging,” Calvert said. “We are already seeing the stories starting to emerge from children who were encouraged to transition by parents and doctors and who are now regretting it.”

Some in the medical community agree.

“What I’ve been seeing in a fertility clinic are the long-term results of often very unhappy people who now feel quite badly damaged,” Robert Winston, an emeritus professor of fertility studies at Imperial College London, told the Today program on BBC Radio 4. He said the “results are horrendous in such a big proportion of cases,” noting 40 percent of people who undergo vaginal surgery have complications, and 23 percent of people who have their breasts removed “feel uncomfortable with what they’ve done.” He said the fundamentals of why people say they are transgender need to be better understood.

Other critics say taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for expensive transgender treatments. In September, The Daily Mail ran a story on the NHS helping transgender children as young as 12 freeze their eggs and sperm before beginning hormone treatment so they can use them later if they want to have children. Earlier this summer, an NHS doctor advocated for publicly funded womb transplants for men who identify as women. Experts have said the controversial surgery—implanting a donor womb into a person born with male organs—could be available within the next decade.