SCHOOLS CRISIS? WHICH CRISIS?
For several years now, teachers and parents have been lobbying for compulsory, fact-based, age-appropriate teaching of Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in schools across the UK. At last it is to be introduced in September 2020. As part of the curriculum children will be taught to respect LGB people as well as other minorities – and that’s great.
So we expected to welcome this step, but something has gone badly wrong.
Outside groups write these kits for schools. They are sometimes described as “specialist groups” but they are not specialists at all. They are gender identity campaigners. That is, they spread their belief that everyone has a “gender identity” which may be different from their biological sex.
Most of them ignore safeguarding protocols: they tell teachers there is no need to inform parents if a child wants to change sex/gender.
They tell 5-year olds and up that they can change sex and promote outdated sexist gender stereotypes.
Some of the materials for secondary school children include advice on BDSM (bondage/discipline, dominance, and submission/sadomasochism) and anal sex. We agree with parents – this should not be happening in schools.
It’s not only “trans toolkits” that contain harmful material. Believe it or not, the UK government and the devolved governments are presiding over this shambles. Instead of delivering, as they maintain, “high-quality, evidence-based and age-appropriate teaching”, our Governments are allowing a range of gender identity lobby groups to sell or provide materials to schools that promote potentially damaging theories.
What is going on?
In September, schools across England, Northern Ireland, & Wales will be introducing compulsory RSE – Relationships and Sex Education.
In Scotland, RSE is taught through Relationships, Sexual Health and Parenthood Education (RSHP) but is not compulsory.
At LGB Alliance, we believe sex education is vital. We applaud the efforts of the UK Government, Northern Ireland Assembly, Scottish Parliament, and Welsh Assembly who have listened to parents and teachers and taken this important step forward.
Schools are to be congratulated on their campaigns over many years to have sex education made compulsory, or recommended in the case of Scotland.
In England there are multiple groups vying with each other to have their materials used by schools. Despite the fact that many of these materials contain passages that are biologically and/or legally incorrect, the Government leaves it up to schools to choose which curriculum to use.
This means that some well-meaning schools may choose a curriculum that has a potentially harmful impact on their pupils. There are no centralised checks or quality controls on the lesson plans and books suggested for use at primary or secondary schools.
In Northern Ireland the Assembly outsources RSE to CCEA – the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment. https://ccea.org.uk/learning-resources/relationships-and-sexuality-education-rse/lgbtq-matters
Their website introduction tells us that:
Relationships and Sexuality Education in primary schools should focus on appreciating each child’s uniqueness. For all pupils to learn effectively, schools must make sure that they feel safe, supported and able to thrive. Research shows that transgender young people become aware that their assigned birth sex is different from their gender identity between the ages of 3 and 5. Transgender young people start to understand their feelings and talk about them between the ages of 6 and 16.”
Two highly controversial beliefs are presented here as if they were facts:
First – that the sex of a child is “assigned at birth”. No. The sex of a child can be observed in the uterus and is recorded either during pregnancy or at birth. It is confusing and wrong to suggest that it is “assigned” in the same way that a name is “assigned”.
Second – that children aged 3 to 5 can be aware that they are transgender. This highly contentious idea is contradicted by a considerable body of scientific evidence and should not be presented as factual. Children who do not conform to gender stereotypes may find such assertions particularly confusing, and we have examples of children who have become distressed and think they might suddenly “change sex” overnight.
In Wales the Minister for Education, Kirsty Williams, endorses a controversial curriculum called Agenda. One of its most famous sections discusses the “mixed-muffin gender berry challenge” which is part of the Rotifer Project. It is used to teach young people that they could be a different “gender” if they don’t conform to stereotypes represented by pink and blue berries (see p. 52 of the Agenda brochure “A Young People’s Guide to Making Positive Relationships Matter”).
GROUPS PROVIDING RESOURCES TO SCHOOLS
All the groups below – except the BBC and the CPS – are registered charities.
They all subscribe to a belief in something called “gender identity”. They provide material for schools and/or go to schools to provide classes, some of them for children as young as five. In these materials and classes, they teach children that they may have a “gender identity” which differs from their biological sex.
“Gender identity” is not recognised in UK law, although some groups wrongly suggest that it is. In our view, it is best described as a minority belief, which might perhaps be mentioned to older children along with religious beliefs. It should certainly not be taught as if it were factual. The logical conclusion of having a “gender identity” which differs from biological sex is that it is possible to be “born in the wrong body”. We reject this notion, and believe it to be confusing and potentially harmful to children, especially those who may be struggling with any number of health, social or family issues.
One of the principles taught by many of these groups is that children know “who they are” from an early age. They say that some children are “trans” and may show signs of this as early as pre-school age. The examples they give to illustrate this recall old-fashioned gender stereotypes. For instance, they say that some young children may dislike the colour of the baby clothes that they are wearing, or prefer the toys that traditionalists associate with the opposite sex.
Disturbingly, in 2019, 54% of patients referred to the Tavistock youth gender clinic (GIDS) were under 14. There has been a huge rise in the number of child referrals. We do not believe this increase reflects a new era of progress and enlightenment. On the contrary. The curricula promoted by all the groups discussed here reinforce outdated gender stereotypes and suggest to a gender non-conforming girl or boy that they may have been “born in the wrong body”. We find this deeply troubling.
In our view, children should be provided with a well-rounded, fact-based and age-appropriate RSE programme, and left to develop in their own time to become whoever they choose to be.
The groups also misrepresent the law and fail to observe principles of child safeguarding in several places. In particular, some suggest that “gender” and “gender identity” are protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010. They are not. Some suggest that children should choose which facilities to use according to gender, not sex; this is not the law. And some suggest that teachers do not have to tell parents if their child changes their name and socially transitions to the other sex at school. This secrecy violates a key principle of child safeguarding.
This image has been used so much by so many groups that you may even recognise it! Sadly it has made its way into many primary schools. We believe it does nothing but confuse children and should not be used as an educational resource at all.
We attach links to the websites of the various groups along with a few quotations from them. We see their “teachings” as potentially harmful propaganda.
Creating an LGBT Inclusive Primary School Curriculum used to carry the Government Equalities Office (GEO) stamp. If you look it up now you will see that has been removed. Might that be because the Government Guidance requires evidence-based teaching and Stonewall’s curriculum is both biologically and legally incorrect?
Here are some examples of what will be taught to primary school children by schools using Stonewall’s’ guide:
- “Everyone has a gender identity.
This is the gender that someone feels they are.”
- “This might be the same as the gender they were given as a baby,
but it might not.”
- “They may feel they are a different gender, or they might
not feel like a boy or a girl.”
Stonewall “Creating an LGBT Inclusive Curriculum for
Primary Schools” 2019, p. 37
Mermaids lobbies hard for the lowering of age limits for children seeking untested puberty blocking medication at the Gender Identity Service, Tavistock Clinic. Their guidance has recently been removed from the online list of BBC LGBT resources.
Mermaids continues to misrepresent the Equality Act by saying that “trans children” have the right to use changing rooms, toilets and overnight accommodation of their choice.
Some see Mermaids’ promotion of drug treatment and surgery for “gender diverse” children as a form of child abuse. The National Lottery has allocated £500k to Mermaids for their activities.
Incredible though it sounds, even the CPS is issuing a toolkit which is not only misogynistic and homophobic – but also misrepresent the Equality Act.
On 30th April 2020 the CPS withdrew its LGBT Bullying and Hate Crime guidance for review, following a pre action letter on behalf of a fourteen year old girl.
Tanya Carter from Safe Schools Alliance UK said:
“We are proud to have supported this inspiring teenage girl on her quest for justice. Her determination to see fair play for girls will make a huge difference to the wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of children and young people.
We are grateful to the CPS for withdrawing their schools guidance. However well-intentioned the idea that this guidance would educate students on hate crime and reduce bullying was, it did quite the opposite. It reinforced sexist and homophobic stereotypes, curtailed free speech and made female students feel unsafe in schools
We hope any other similar guidance will also now be withdrawn. Safe Schools Alliance would welcome the opportunity to be involved in creating nationwide guidance that challenges homophobic and sexist bullying in schools, upholds the Equality Act 2010 and safeguards all children so that they are able to feel safe throughout their whole time in education and achieve their full potential”.
Another “outside group” is the BBC, which provides educational videos for use in school RSE lessons. Its “educational” video teaching children in KS2 (age 7 to 11) that there are “over 100 genders” attracted a large number of complaints from the public. It is still online.
“On the Subject of Being Trans Enough”
“Being trans is based on self-identification. This means there is no specific criteria that a person has to fulfil in order to be trans. There is no qualification to pass, no exam to sit and no judge of eligibility. All a person has to do to be trans is to describe themselves as trans”.
“Our educational workshops can be delivered in any primary school setting in England and Wales. They aim to engage learning around gender diversity, raise awareness of trans identities and what it means to include trans people in our schools.”
The Sexuality aGender Toolkit V2 is designed for children of 13 and up. Here is one of the teaching aids – The Dice Game. Children are asked to throw the dice and talk about the sexual acts that can happen using the two body parts. Body parts named include penis, anus, hands and fingers, vulva. There is a detailed guide to go along with this – including:
- “some people find ‘risky sex’ pleasurable and the idea of reducing all risks unrealistic.”
- “Reduction of unwanted pain or discomfort during sex, may be achieved through the introduction of lubrication, to areas of the body that do not produce any, or enough, of their own, such as the anus, and some *vaginas.”
* Some vaginas” here is referring to males who have had sex reconstruction surgery and who have had a surgically constructed vagina.
This guide was part funded by the Tampon Tax – yet there is no mention of either girls consent nor pleasure. We should remember that the Proud Trust says its resource is for any girl or boy from the age of 13.
Gender identity is a given throughout AllSorts materials. AllSorts offers customised programmes for schools.
On residential trips “trans pupils and students should be able to sleep in dorms appropriate to their gender identity”…ie male-bodied kids should be able to sleep alongside girls.
We will take confidentiality seriously and not ‘out’ a trans child or young person without their permission including to parents and carers”
This misrepresents the Equality Act and ignores the rights of girls to privacy and safety. Note that girls and their families are not consulted. This is a pattern across all groups.
Agenda’s online toolkit for schools is approved by the Welsh Government and comes with an introduction by Kirsty Williams, Minister for Education and Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales. The toolkit teaches that all children have a gender identity and includes the infamous “missed-muffin gender berry challenge”. In this challenge teenagers may find they are transgender if they don’t fit pink or blue categories.
“‘Gender identity’ is used in this resource to refer to a person’s inner sense of self. Gender identity does not necessarily relate to the sex a person is assigned at birth.
Feelings about gender identity start early, around the age of 2-3.”
Page 11 Primary Agenda
From Transgender Trend: “After attending a workshop at a London primary school run by Diversity Role Models an eight-year-old in Year 4 came home and told her mother, anxiously, that she didn’t think she was trans. She said it twice.
She’d never raised the question or ever used the word trans before. Part of the lesson was an activity where the children had to match a word with a definition; the words were, gay, lesbian, bisexual, homosexual, heterosexual and transgender. The definition given for transgender was ‘someone who does not feel like the gender they were given at birth’.
An eight-year-old girl who is enquiring, maybe likes to wrestle, play football, prefers jeans to skirts, might be troubled by this definition and wonder if her favourite activities had some other meaning, that maybe she is not a girl but a boy. She might wonder why she was “given” a gender at birth, instead of simply being, as she had thought of herself up to this point, a girl.”
“we’re trying to smash heteronormativity … not everyone identifies as heterosexual or as male or female and there are many people that identify outside of that model” YouTube Video
“Key learning points:
To develop a deeper understanding of sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, why it is necessary to include these protected characteristics in our curriculum and what we need to do to ensure their full inclusion and equilibrium with other equality strands” Training and Webinars
Here again we see “experts” misleading those they are teaching. While sexual orientation IS a protected characteristic, neither gender nor gender identity are. No wonder so many children are confused.
GEO-approved until the GEO stamp was removed in Spring 2020.
Equaliteach’s “Resource for Educators”, Free To Be, includes this defamatory statement about Transgender Trend, Woman’s Place UK and Fair Play for Women on page 16.
LGBT Youth Scotland helped organise the visit to a Primary School of a drag queen called Flojob, and defended the visit even when the local council apologised and the drag queen broke basic child safeguarding rules by posting images of the children on their instagram alongside highly sexualised content.
“If either you or your partner has a penis then you should always use a condom to prevent sperm entering the vagina”
- We don’t think any child should be fed any type of ideology that will confuse or upset them.
- All children like dressing to be animals, space creatures, fictional characters or pretending to be the opposite sex. It is a normal part of every child’s development.
- Being a boy or a girl is not a feeling. There are two sexes.
- The implication of this teaching is that a child who likes dressing up or prefers the toys/activities traditionally associated with the opposite sex may start to wonder whether they might have been born in the wrong body.
What happens after children have attended classes like this?
All of these curricula will encourage children to think about whether they should change “gender” instead of staying exactly as they are. Why on earth are we doing this?
In the last 10 years there has been a 4,400% increase in the number of girls being referred to Gender Identity Development Services (GIDS) at the Tavistock and Portman clinic. Three times as many girls as boys are now going to GIDS.
Why do so many teenage girls want to change gender?
In the last 10 years, there has been an extraordinary increase in teenagers seeking to transition from female to male. What’s behind it—and has the NHS been too quick to find a solution?
It is commonly acknowledged that while biological sex is genetically determined, gender is a social construct. A human being cannot—and should not—be reduced to their biology, or indeed their genitals, because psychologically we are as much a product of the way that other people treat us as we are of our genetic inheritance. Homo sapiens are social creatures: our ability to cooperate is what gave us the evolutionary upper hand over our stronger Neanderthal cousins. Without parents, siblings, peers, colleagues, friends and lovers our idea of ourselves would remain ill-defined—we wouldn’t know who we were.
Imagine you were raised by wolves in a cave—let’s call you Mowgli—but then later met another human of the opposite sex. You would notice the physiological differences. But as to interpreting those differences, where would you start? Without being exposed to the concept of “man” or “woman”—let alone “laddish” or “girly”—you’d lack any mental map to provide the pointers to the typically “male” and “female” behaviour instilled in us by human society.
Precisely because gender is a social construct, the evolution of its boundaries and meanings will tell us something fundamental about our society. And gender-wise something really big is going on in the UK—but it’s not the big something you might think. READ MORE
Here are some statistics from the Gender Identity Services at Travistock Clinic.
A recent scientific article reports that of these girls, only 8.5% say they are exclusively attracted to boys. Around 70% say they are only attracted to girls and over 20% to both girls and boys. In the BBC Newsnight report of 18 June 2020, former GIDS clinicians describe the important influence of homophobia in patients’ families. Here are just a few individuals experiences. BBC News. BBC Health. YouTube.
When we combine all this with the stories told by the growing numbers of detransitioners (people who regret “transitioning” and try to revert to their birth sex), who explain that they now realise they had been struggling with lesbianism, we see a trend that is sometimes called “transing away the lesbian.” It is a fair assumption that the lessons on gender identity that are taught in schools will help to prepare the ground for this worrying trend.
In terms of groups that provide resources for RSE, there is one excellent exception: TransgenderTrend. Click here for their high-quality analysis of RSE and advice on what can be done.
The other good news is that if you write to your MP/MSP/MS/MLA or your local schools, you might be able to influence this process and get these proposals put on hold until a more factual curriculum can be devised.
For more useful information to send to schools please see Safe Schools Alliance.
THE GOOD NEWS – YOU CAN ACT NOW!
It’s not too late!
Your MP, MLA in Northern Ireland, MSP in Scotland or MS in Wales probably has NO IDEA about what is going on. They are all busy people dealing with multiple issues. But they all have a responsibility to their constituents.
1. Find your MP, MLA, MSP or MS HERE
2. Write to them using the Template letter attached.
3. Ask them for a meeting to ask for their help.
4. Contact the schools your children attend and ask to see all the materials and teaching aids that will be used. Some groups charge for their materials so it may be impossible to see everything – tell the school if you are concerned about information behind a paywall.
A copy of the template can be downloaded personalised and send to your elected representative.
Browser: If the have difficulty downloading the file please select the text below and copy it into your word processor.
Mobile: If you have difficulty downloading please use your computer and follow the instructions above for Browser.
Dear (full name of representative)
I am writing to express my concerns about the new RSE (if you are writing from England, Northern Ireland, Wales) OR RSHP (Scotland only) curriculum which is due to be rolled out across primary and secondary schools in the near future.
I am pleased that there is a recognition of the need to teach children about different kinds of people and types of families. Children need to know that some children have two mothers or two fathers – or a single parent, whether mother, father or other carer. And that sometimes two women or two men may fall in love. We also assume, or hope, that boys and girls will be taught about the changes that occur during puberty. However, having looked at some of the materials being produced for schools, I am extremely concerned about what will be taught to children and young people.
We expect our children to be taught facts at school. In terms of RSE (if you are writing from England, Northern Ireland, Wales) OR RHSP (Scotland only), we would expect these facts to include essential biology. We also expect lessons to focus on matters such as respect, boundaries, consent and responsibility. When children are growing up, they are full of questions – which should be answered honestly and factually.
What we cannot accept is that children should be taught by lobby groups who believe in “gender identity” that they may have been born in the wrong body. For some children, this may be a confusing and even terrifying thing to hear. We accept some people believe it is possible to be “trapped in the wrong body”. However, it is a controversial belief and if taught in school it should be taught as such and not presented as factual.
We know that well-meaning people are trying to do their best, from a praiseworthy desire to protect vulnerable individuals. But teaching this doctrine as fact is wrong. What children need, and what they are entitled to be taught, is a rigorous fact-based curriculum.
As a responsible Member of Parliament please do all you can to delay the rollout until it has been reviewed by experts in relationships and sex education.
[Your full address & postcode – this is required for an MP to know that you’re their constituent]