Oxford Council drops controversial ‘trans toolkit’ after legal threat

Oxfordshire Council has withdrawn its controversial ‘Trans Toolkit’ amid pressure from parents and an impending court case.

The ‘Trans Inclusion Toolkit for Schools 2019’, subtitled “Gender is not pink and blue”, was implemented by Oxfordshire County Council last year.

It says boys who claim to be girls should be allowed to share female toilets, changing rooms and overnight accommodation on school trips, and that the view that there are only two genders is ‘transphobic bullying’.

Miss A

The council’s climbdown comes in the wake of the Crown Prosecution Service pulling its controversial LGBT hate-crime guidance for schools following a legal challenge by a 14-year-old girl.

Oxford’s own legal proceedings were brought on behalf of a 13-year-old girl, and it was announced last month that a judicial review of its policy would be heard at the High Court, but the council has now backed down.

The girl, known as Miss A, said that under the guidelines she had “no right to privacy from the opposite sex in changing rooms, loos or on residential trips”.

She added: “The guidance makes me feel that my desire for privacy, dignity, safety, and respect is wrong. It makes me feel sad, powerless and confused.”

‘Biological reality’

The toolkit had also come under fire from a group of parents formed to oppose the guidance.

Tracy Shaw first raised concerns when she was informed that her nine-year-old daughter would have to share changing facilities with boys.

She founded the group, which believes that the trans schools guidance undermines parents, promotes the stereotyping of girls and boys and “asks teachers to put aside biological reality”.

‘Invasion of privacy’

The Christian Institute’s Education Officer John Denning welcomed the withdrawal.

“This climbdown demonstrates the positive effect parents can have when they engage with schools and the council over these controversial issues.
 
“This toolkit placed many young people in difficult situations and was an invasion of their privacy, and naturally many parents felt the need to speak up against it.
 
“Unfortunately, too many officials assume that the best way to help gender-confused children is to affirm them in every way, without proper regard for how this will affect other young people, or indeed proper consideration of what is in the long-term interests of the child concerned.
 
“Hopefully other councils will take note and refrain from going well beyond what the law requires.”

Also see:

Looking in a mirror

High Court to hear teen’s challenge over Oxfordshire trans policy

Parents challenge trans ‘toolkit’

CPS pulls hate-crime guidance after legal challenge

Warwickshire Council drops explicit sex-ed policy after CI intervention

‘Tolerate don’t celebrate’, accepts creator of controversial LGBT school course

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