A women’s campaign group has warned that Scotland’s new guidance for schools on ‘Supporting Transgender Young People’ may have negative impacts on other children.
Women and Girls in Scotland (WGS) raised particular concerns that the comfort of transgender students “seems to take precedence” over that of girls.
They said it is not clear in the guidance that “due consideration” has been given to “the interests of other young people who are not trans”.
The document, which was issued late last year in partnership with LGBT Youth Scotland and Scottish Trans Alliance, states that teachers do not need to inform parents if their child wishes to change gender.
The guidance also states that trans students should be allowed to use the toilets and changing facilities of their choice, and stay in overnight accommodation with opposite sex students.
If parents or children object to this, teachers are to remind them of “the school’s ethos of inclusion, equality and respect”.
WGS said that allowing male-bodied pupils to share these intimate spaces with girls would be “potentially compromising their right to privacy and dignity”.
The group said that under the new guidance there was likely to be ‘discomfort’ experienced by other students who identify as their biological sex.
They said: “The guidance does not acknowledge any objections that young people or their parent(s)/carer(s) may have to sharing facilities with a transgender young person”.
And it makes “no mention of the need to evaluate their inclusion on the basis of fairness and safety for the benefit of all young people taking part”.
Exclude and marginalise
Religious children could also be negatively impacted as the guidance could exclude and marginalise them from school life.
WGS added, other children are “being expected to forgo their rights and their boundaries” for the benefit of a minority.
Revd David Robertson, former Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, said: “The advice in the guidance is harmful and totalitarian and the adoption of the radical transgender agenda is an attack on women. It’s about time that others spoke up.”