Parents at one of England’s leading independent girls’ schools have complained that gender ideology is being promoted to pupils.
According to The Sunday Times, parents at St Paul’s Girls’ School in London raised concerns following a presentation by US researchers from Princeton University.
Dr Ashley Jordan and Stats Atwood – members of Princeton’s Human Diversity Lab – spoke to girls about the university’s TransYouth Project, which embraces the idea that girls can successfully transition to become boys.
Seeking to justify the event, the school’s high mistress told the newspaper that, in recent years, a small number of girls had expressed a “desire to explore transition”.
But one parent, who complained to the school, reportedly said: “Why were these researchers invited to talk to the girls about ‘trans youth’ at the school, where there is already an issue with girls wanting to become boys?
“Some staff have suggested that girls who say they want to become a boy should be seen at England’s NHS gender identity clinic, which until recently used to give drugs to girls under the age of 16 to suppress their puberty, with who knows what consequences.”
In April, the Deputy Head Helen Semple hosted a training webinar for staff to promote ‘inclusivity’.
Guest speaker Emma Cusdin, a man who now lives as a woman, spoke about his personal experience of changing sex.
Cusdin told staff: “Young people are finding amazing ways to self-identify. At the last count, we stopped counting at 150 gender identities that people are self-identifying.”
But former Shadow Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe accused St Paul’s of ‘spouting nonsense’ and called for a “return of common sense”.
Speaking about the controversy on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman – a former pupil of St Paul’s – said: “I think it’s so sad if girls can’t be proud of being girls.”
Asked for her views on Stonewall’s advice that teachers should drop the terms ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ in favour of ‘learner’, Spielman commented: “I think it’s very important that we talk about children in natural language.
“The more we shift away from the kind of words mothers, fathers, children, teachers naturally use, the more remote things get, and the harder it is for people to think about them. I am very much in favour of using natural comfortable terminology.”
However, in the past the head of Ofsted has also spoken out in favour of schools adopting “muscular liberalism” and endorsed the use of pro-trans material ‘No Outsiders’ at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham.
High Court ruling
Last year, the High Court ruled in favour of detransitioner Keira Bell, who brought a case against England’s controversial NHS gender identity clinic after she was given hormone blockers and cross-sex hormones as a teenage girl by its clinicians.
Lawyers acting for Bell had argued that young people have too little life experience to understand the potentially devastating and lifelong consequences of taking the experimental ‘sex-swap’ drugs.
The three senior High Court judges ruled “It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers. It is doubtful that a child aged 14 or 15 could understand and weigh the long-term risks and consequences of the administration of puberty blockers.”