The parents of a 13-year-old girl have expressed their outrage after their daughter received ‘counselling’ without their consent, which they say led her to believe she was transgender.
Ashleigh and Ged Barnett were not initially informed when their child began weekly meetings with the head of the school’s LGBT group in September.
Mrs Barnett said that last August her daughter “looked like a pretty teenage girl. By November, she didn’t look like the same child.”
She says their daughter showed no signs of gender confusion before the sessions, and she was “egged on to feel that she’s a boy in a girl’s body”.
“The teaching assistant also pointed her in the direction of a YouTube website of a trans activist, which features a video where they showed off their mastectomy scars and told how well the operation had gone.”
“We are her parents”
She says staff at Hoe Valley School in Surrey addressed her daughter using a male name and encouraged her to change in boys’ facilities.
She added: “The school didn’t think it was fit to tell us. We are her parents, but responsibility to care for our child has been taken away. The attitude is that it’s the child’s choice and it’s got nothing to do with us.
Mrs Barnett continued: “Children at 13 or 14, especially girls, are sometimes not happy in their own bodies – that’s what puberty does to you. They are very vulnerable. It only takes one person with an agenda to plant a little seed that they are ‘in the wrong body’.”
“It only takes one person with an agenda to plant a little seed that they are ‘in the wrong body’.”
The Barnett’s daughter is now seeing a psychologist who said it is “appalling” that schools have “unqualified people mentoring young students”.
But the school’s headteacher Jane Davies disputed the allegations and told the Barnetts it was “not our place to alert you to how she feels”.
Last month, a 13-year-old girl launched a legal challenge against Oxfordshire County Council over its controversial guidance for schools concerning transgender pupils.
The ‘Trans Inclusion Toolkit for Schools 2019’ said boys who claim to be girls should be allowed to share female toilets, changing rooms and overnight accommodation on school trips.
The teenager, known as Miss A, said: “The guidance makes me feel that my desire for privacy, dignity, safety, and respect is wrong”.