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Gender ideologues are still running amok in schools

Trans-activist groups are telling teachers to ignore government guidance on socially transitioning kids.

Jo Bartosch

Jo Bartosch

Topics Identity Politics UK

Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch is determined to kick trans zealots and the dangerous ideology they peddle out of England’s schools. Last month, she launched the long-awaited Department for Education (DfE) draft guidance for gender-questioning children. This makes it clear that schools are under no obligation to accept a child’s desire to socially transition, or to swap single-sex toilets and changing rooms with gender-neutral ones. It also insists that parents should be informed if their child wants to transition, apart from in ‘exceptionally rare’ circumstances where this might put the child at ‘significant risk’.

Yet despite this new guidance, the industry that has coagulated around ‘LGBTQ+’ education remains stubbornly ingrained. In fact, it seems as if trans-evangelist groups in schools and colleges are more belligerent and emboldened than ever.

One such militant enterprise is Pop‘n’Olly, which describes itself as ‘the UK’s leading LGBT+ resource for children, parents, carers and teachers’. Its ‘edutainment’ videos teach trans-activist talking points to children. Kids are told that there are more than two sexes and that everyone has a ‘gender identity’ that might be different from their birth sex. This messaging is totally at odds with the new DfE guidance, which emphasises the importance of biological sex as well as the potential pitfalls of allowing kids to adopt new names, pronouns and uniforms.

A recent newsletter from Pop‘n’Olly boasts that its resources are still being used in primary schools across the country, despite the DfE’s crackdown. Crucially, it advises its followers that the draft DfE guidance is ‘not legally binding’ and is only at the consultation stage. Subscribers are encouraged to feed into that consultation process to push the trans agenda. They are also told they can find further information from controversial lobby groups Mermaids and Stonewall, as well as from trans-activist lawyer Robin Moira White. Needless to say, these are not neutral or reliable sources of information. Notably, Stonewall has been accused of misrepresenting equality law and Mermaids is currently under investigation by the Charity Commission.

At the bottom of its most recent update, Pop‘n’Olly links to a video ‘for parents and teachers to share with and inspire young minds’. This features a poem that appears to be little more than a thinly veiled attack on the government’s attempt to clarify the law around sex and gender. ‘Change laws and rights and spaces / Invoke panic and pure doom / sensationalise your stories / these flowers will still bloom’, the poem says.

Lucy Marsh, spokeswoman for the Family Education Trust, has no doubt that this is trans-activist propaganda. ‘Pop‘n’Olly is blatantly ignoring the government’s guidance and quite frankly should not be allowed anywhere near children’, she tells me. ‘Unless the government takes strong action to ban gender ideology in schools, transgender activists like Pop‘n’Olly will continue to teach children that sex is “assigned at birth” and that they could be “born in the wrong body”.’

Disturbingly, Pop‘n’Olly is part of an ecosystem of groups mobilising against the DfE guidelines. The Trans and Non-Binary Education Network (TNB) is also lobbying hard. It has promoted a petition to ‘Stop the government’s hateful guidance’. LGBT youth charity Mosaic claims that ‘this draft guidance is unlawful, unworkable and simply not fit for purpose’. Mermaids describes the DfE draft guidance as ‘unworkable, out of touch and absurd!’.

Gender-critical commentator James Esses reported earlier this month from an event titled ‘DfE Draft Guidance on “Gender-Questioning” Children’, which was organised by TNB, in collaboration with a group called Schools Out. One speaker reportedly made misleading claims about a high suicide rate among trans-identified children. The consensus among speakers was that teachers should help children transition behind parents’ backs. In his write-up, Esses concludes: ‘I dread to think how many teachers were present at this webinar. How many of these events are being run up and down the country every single day?’

Ultimately, for trans-activist organisations working in education, trans ideology is not just a belief system, it is also a business model. For those who have built their careers around promoting the myth of gender identity, accepting the new DfE guidance would come at a huge financial and reputational cost.

There is something in the refusal of trans activists to accept that the conversation has moved on that is reminiscent of hardcore Remainers following the Brexit vote. They are so wedded to the notion that they must be right. They are unable to accept that they are on the losing side of an argument. Worst of all, they ignore the mounting clinical evidence that transitioning children does far more harm than good. Increasingly, the world outside their bubble is no longer prepared to play along with the fiction that some children are born in the wrong body.

Organisations within the LGBT education industry seem set on ignoring the DfE guidance and hunkering down until the next election delivers a Labour government. It took the Conservatives five years to publish those guidelines on how schools should deal with gender-questioning children. At the current rate of progress, it could take a lifetime before the education system is fully freed from the grip of trans ideology.

Jo Bartosch is a journalist campaigning for the rights of women and girls.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Identity Politics UK

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