An MP has criticised LGBT activist groups for confusing impressionable children by promoting radical gender ideology in schools.
During a House of Commons debate, Miriam Cates, a former science teacher, spoke about the need to support emotionally vulnerable young people by providing effective counselling and support networks in schools.
But she explained that in around half of cases counsellors are not registered with professional bodies, and one in seven have no professional qualifications at all. She says this raises serious potential safeguarding issues.
Cates highlighted Stonewall and Mermaids as outside groups invited into schools to provide counselling-type services, but which she said are teaching “dangerous and contested extreme ideologies that don’t have a basis in science”.
She mentioned that some of what is being taught by such groups goes against Department for Education guidance, including “teaching children that there are more than two sexes” or that their sex “has been assigned to them at birth”.
dangerous and contested extreme ideologies that don’t have a basis in science
She continued: “I’ve seen a video today by the Free To Be group telling teachers that they might drive children to suicide if they don’t accept this ideology.”
The MP added that Stonewall wrongly interprets the Equality Act “in a way that erodes sex-based rights, particularly of girls, in a way that I think is very dangerous”.
‘Afraid to speak out’
Cates also said she knew of children who have been told by adults in school “that they would be happier if they changed their gender”, adding that “frighteningly, they are being told not to tell their parents, and to keep this a secret”.
She continued: “I know of schools where children are disciplined for complaining about children of the opposite sex being allowed to use their PE changing rooms.”
The MP said the promotion of radical gender ideology “is having terrible consequences” and that “teachers and pupils are afraid to speak out”.
frighteningly, they are being told not to tell their parents
‘Robust safeguarding process’
She explained how thousands of children are being referred to the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust’s Gender Identity Development Service, where many have been prescribed puberty-blocking drugs, and almost all of those go on to take cross-sex hormones.
Cates said: “These are children who will become infertile, sterile, have permanent loss of sexual function. How can a 12, 13, 14-year-old consent to that?”
She pointed out that many of those children have “complex mental health issues” or “difficult family backgrounds”.
These are children who will become infertile, sterile, have permanent loss of sexual function
She said these referrals are “a direct result” of harmful agendas being pushed in schools. The MP concluded that a “robust safeguarding process” must be in place to ensure that adults going into schools and the materials they are using are in line with DfE guidance, and that they are not pushing their own agendas.