New Scottish Government guidance on transgender children in schools has been slammed by critics.
Opponents have accused the Scottish Government of promoting transgender ideology, eroding the rights of parents and using unreliable statistics in its resource for schools.
The new guidance is based on ‘Supporting Transgender Young People’, created by LGBT Youth Scotland in 2017. The Government originally endorsed the publication, but backtracked after The Christian Institute threatened legal action, warning it was “incorrect”, “misleading and misguided”.
According to the latest document, some children “are exploring their gender identity in primary school settings”.
It adds: “If a young person in the school says that they now want to live as a boy although their sex assigned at birth was female, or they now want to live as a girl, although their sex assigned at birth was male, it is important to provide support and listen to what they are saying.”
To raise awareness that “not every child will identify as the sex they were assigned at birth”, the guidance suggests primary schools could use resources “which challenge gender stereotypes and include transgender people”.
Teachers are advised to “respect a young person’s wishes and use the name/pronoun they have asked to be used” and told that “it is best to not share information with parents or carers” on a pupil’s gender identity “without considering and respecting” the child’s views.
Marion Calder, co-director of the campaign group For Women Scotland, described the guidance as “really, really worrying” and accused the Scottish Government of pushing a “dangerous ideology”.
Writing in the Scotsman, former MSP and MEP Brian Monteith criticised the Government resource for “sanctioning a level of secrecy from parents about gender transformation” in schools.
Criticism has also been levelled at the reliability of the statistics on suicide among transgender young people used in the document. One-time head of the Government’s higher education division Lucy Hunter Blackburn described the data as “irresponsible” and “incredibly unsound”.
For the Scottish Government to come down so firmly on the side of trans activists is bad for schools, families and societySimon Calvert
The Daily Telegraph reported that the guidance had been drawn up with the help of the LGBT lobby group Stonewall, while the document itself recommends schools seek ‘additional resources’ from LGBT Youth Scotland, Scottish Trans Alliance and Mermaids.
Bad for society
The Christian Institute’s Deputy Director for Public Affairs Simon Calvert said: “The question of how best to help children and young people confused about their gender is hugely controversial.
“For the Scottish Government to come down so firmly on the side of trans activists is bad for schools, families and society.”
In May, leading human rights lawyer Aidan O’Neill QC said guidance for schools on transgenderism adopted by around half of Scotland’s local authorities goes against human rights law.