Boys can wear skirts, says Scottish kids’ tsar

Scotland’s Children’s Commissioner has backed a petition calling for boys to be able to wear skirts to school.

Tam Baillie, appointed by MSPs at the Scottish Parliament, claims the traditional uniform codes cause ‘serious distress’ to ‘gender-variant pupils’.

But family campaigners dismissed the proposals and said sex is “determined by objective biological facts and not by a person’s feelings”.

Transgender

Holyrood’s Public Petitions Committee is considering a proposal from a 13-year-old schoolboy to scrap ‘gender specific’ uniforms.

The campaign has been backed by the Scottish Transgender Alliance and LGBT Scotland, but education minister Michael Russell MSP believes it is a matter for education authorities.

Mr Baillie wrote to the committee: “We should be rejecting discriminatory practice and allowing our children and young people to express themselves.

Distress

“I would agree that gender specific uniforms or dress codes can cause serious distress in gender-variant pupils.”

However Norman Wells, from the Family Education Trust, said: “Schools should be free to make their own decisions about uniform policies in consultation with parents, without the constraints of political correctness.

“Gender is determined by objective biological facts and not by a person’s feelings, no matter how strong they may be.

Acceptance

“Rather than encouraging children to become what they are not, we need to help them recognise and accept what they are.”

He added: “To that end, maintaining a distinction between what boys and girls are required to wear can be positive and helpful for pupils struggling with gender identity issues.

“This is yet another case of the language of children’s rights being used in an attempt to add weight to what is nothing more than a personal minority view.”

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