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Lets take a look at the "Trans Toolkit for Schools." It was developed by several local councils with input from Allsorts and Gendered Intelligence. It is now under review is Oxfordshire, Warwickshire & Merseyside after groups of parents complained.
Is this just parents being Conservative (or transphobic?) or are there real problems with this widely used resource?
1) Encourages schools to diagnose kids as trans. Page 1 tells teachers that children have a gender identity (revealed by behaviours & language) and that it can be apparent to school if this doesn't 'match' their 'assigned gender' (ie this is the definition of trans)
All children (it says) know their "true identity" ... Even if, as the previous section says they are too young to understand the concept of being trans, the long term implications of transitioning (or the difference between sex & social gender roles, or their own sexuality)
Schools are told these children are 'transkids' who they should actively support to "socially transition" (rather than just be allowed to be kids who don't fit with stereotypes), and can do this without the support of mental health professionals, or parental consent
All staff should be trained to view gender in this way....
This is what the "gingerbread person" says.. Being a man or a woman relates to having manly or womanly personality, hobbies, job, roles, expectations, likes & dislikes. Sexist much??
2) Parental alienation. Parents who don't support the plan to socially transition their child are treated as "unsupportive"
Teachers, parents and children are directed towards organisations that are self appointed 'experts' in gender identity rather than broader child mental health & safeguarding. Agreeing with their views is presented as synonymous with the childs best interests
3) Undermining Safeguarding. This is what the Toolkit says.
This is what "Working Together to Safeguard Children 2018" says. Parents & carers have primary care for their children. Consent for sharing info should be sought from children, but is not required. Absolute confidentiality is not appropriate.
Remember: This is a child who may have been talking w strangers on the Internet about intimate details of their body & their feelings. Who may be undergoing intense feelings of body hatred & other mental health issues. Who has been encouraged to feel alienated from their family..
... and the teacher they disclose this to is being trained NOT to view this as a potential safeguarding issue and NOT to deal with it through usual safeguarding approach.
4) Underexploring why children w SEND might identify as trans. Could children who are particularly susceptible to obsessions, fascinations & outside influences be mistakenly diagnosing themselves as trans? Could children w learning difficulties? The Toolkit says don't think this
5) Underexploring whether children might just grow up to be gay. Entertaining this thought is included on a list of transphobic statements. And anyway, homosexuality is redefined as being related to gender identity, not to sex
6) Misrepresenting the Equality Act. No EA2010 does not reference "Trans Identity" (it references gender reassignment). The Toolkit fails to mention that *sex* is a protected characteristic, instead pretending it says "gender".
The law specifically states that organisations *can* provide facilities which are segregated by *sex*. It does not say that a child or adults "gender identity" overrides this.
And so of course, following on from this the Toolkit tells schools they must ignore girls legitimate right to bodily privacy in toilets, changing rooms and sleeping accomodation
A boy's wish to change in the girls changing room is seen as a "need", and any girls who object should be seen as unreasonable and transphobic and a problem.
And parents of girls should not be informed that they are being forced to share intimate spaces with a boy. Of course they will know, but no one is allowed to talk about it.
Charles has changed his name to Chloe and is now happy to be in the girls changing rooms. Is there a quote from any of the girls about how they feel? No of course not. Nowhere in the Toolkit does it acknowledge that other children have rights and protections.
To summarise: This document developed by 12 local councils and an org that is viewed as a source of expertise by @WomenEqualities & @EHRC does not serve the welfare of gender questioning young people or their peers, it misrepresents the law and undermines safeguarding.
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