The Times has come under fire for using the slur “hardliners” to describe those urging the Government to stop schools from encouraging pupils to act as if they were the opposite sex.
Writing on behalf of campaign group Safe Schools Alliance and parent organisation Bayswater Support Group, and in response to a Times editorial, Tanya Carter and Tracy Shaw said the Department for Education’s trans guidance for schools must “return to a safeguarding-led approach”.
The repeatedly delayed guidance has been expected to clarify that schools should not treat gender-confused children as if they were the opposite sex. In March, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged that it would be released “for the summer term”.
Carter and Shaw criticised The Times editorial for claiming a “sensible middle route” would allow pupils with parental permission to “try out new identities” in a “neutral and warm environment”.
Carter and Shaw also said encouraging gender self-identification “spectacularly fails to protect children”, while what “most commonly lies beneath a trans identity are autism, ADHD, severe bullying, trauma and sexual abuse. Treating vulnerable children as mascots for an adult-led agenda is a dereliction of duty.”
They added: “It is time for the government (and parents, and teachers) to admit we got things wrong and return to a safeguarding-led approach. We owe it to the next generation, and the next.”
In October, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said she hoped the “much awaited” guidance would arrive “before Christmas” but added it would be followed by “a long consultation” on it as “there’ll be lots of opinions”.
In a written statement, Keegan previously emphasised: “In the meantime, schools and colleges should proceed with extreme caution.
“They should always involve parents in decisions relating to their child, and should not agree to any changes that they are not absolutely confident are in the best interests of that child and their peers.
“They should prioritise safeguarding by meeting their existing legal duties to protect single sex spaces and maintain safety and fairness in single sex sport.”