A Church of England minister has resigned from his roles as a vicar and school governor saying his views have been shut down.
Revd John Parker raised concerns after being told an eight-year-old boy at the Church of England school in Essex wanted to be known as a girl.
The headteacher rejected Revd Parker’s concerns, prompting him to leave. “It felt very much like I was being silenced”, he said.
In March, when Revd Parker was told about the young child, he cautioned that there were no formal policies in place for staff. He also questioned whether there were any “pastoral provisions” for pupils who might be concerned.
Revd Parker, 49, said the school “turned into a place where you did not even have the freedom to question things”.
“I felt it was no longer a Christian place of grace and truth – it was a place of oppression.”
The headteacher claimed that the Equality Act was tying her hands. However, barrister Amanda Jones, who specialises in gender law, said advice given to the school was incorrect.
In April, controversial transgender lobby group Mermaids came to the school to provide a training session.
It made statements including that “advancements in science” had revealed “many more” combinations of chromosomes alongside XY for male and XX for female.
But Revd Parker – who studied biology at the University of Oxford – said he was left “gobsmacked” by the pronouncements.
The Christian Legal Centre is now supporting the former vicar. Its Chief Executive Andrea Williams warned the situation was not unique.
“This is not an isolated case and we are going to see more and more like it if nothing is done.”
She added: “I believe that a real threat is posed to schools from organisations such as Mermaids.
“They implement a new ideological tyranny – and any disagreement is at best silenced and at worst, punished.”