Parents ‘suing government’ over schools supporting their trans kids
A group of parents of trans children are reportedly planning to sue the government over schools and teachers supporting their kids.
The case is being brought by the Bad Law Project and will see a group of parents sue the Department for Education for failing to protect their children from so-called “trans ideology”.
The group accuses ministers of failing to provide teachers with guidelines, which they claim has resulted in “damaging” ‘gender ideology’ taking place in schools.
As well as this, the group also claim some teachers have not informed on children in their care, by outing them to their parents if they are socially transitioning in school. Others say teachers have actively ‘encouraged’ pupils to transition.
The case also seeks to define the term ‘gender ideology’ in law.
Barrister Dr Anna Loutfi, who is bringing the case, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The parents wish to bring a joint claim in negligence against the Department for Education for a failure to act on the foreseeable harms caused to children by gender ideology.”
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The claimants include one mother who says her 16-year-old child’s private school encouraged social transition without her consent.
Another parent of a 16-year-old claimed her child’s college “ignored” advice from NHS psychotherapists against transition.
“The college ignores emails with regard to safeguarding my child. The college have shown zero accountability. The DfE needs to act now,” the Daily Mail quoted the mother as saying.
Guidelines ‘safeguarding Tory interests’, not pupils
The lawsuit comes as the government is reviewing its relationships, sex, health and education (RSHE) statutory guidance and is set to release guidelines specifically in regards to trans pupils in schools.
Education minister Gillian Keegan is said to be “deeply concerned” about reports of “inappropriate lessons being taught in schools”, with the aim of the RSHE review to stop pupils from being taught “contested and potentially damaging concepts”.
In March 2023, it was reported a drag queen had hosted “inappropriate” sex education lessons in a school on the Isle of Wight, leading to teachers at the school to receive death threats.
An investigation into these reports showed them to be almost entirely false.
Age ratings are planned to be applied to different lessons and topics to ensure they are appropriate for different age groups.
“This urgent review will get to the heart of how RSHE is currently taught and should be taught in the future. This will leave no room for any disturbing content, restore parents’ confidence, and make sure children are even better protected,” Keegan said in March.
In April, leaked reports from the government’s guidance on trans pupils was blasted by LGBTQ+ activists, teachers, a teaching union and charities after it was claimed school staff would be forced to out trans kids to their parents.
The proposed guidance, which is being spearheaded by Keegan and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, would use ‘triggers’ – including a pupil changing their name, pronouns or a “boy wearing a skirt” – for schools to use to decide on outing pupils.
One teacher described the proposed guidelines as “safeguarding Tory interests” rather than protecting vulnerable children.
“As a teacher, my number one priority is safeguarding and I can’t really understand how this has anything to do with safeguarding students,” she told PinkNews.
“There are so many vulnerable children in education who need so much support, so much help, and this just isn’t something that is frankly needed in the education system, at all.”
Julie McCulloch, director of policy at the association of school and college leaders, called for “compassionate” guidance which must be underpinned by “fairness, respect and safety” and treats trans pupils with “dignity”.
When asked about the lawsuit being brought against the government, a Department for Education spokesperson told PinkNews: “The Education Secretary is deeply concerned by reports of inappropriate Relationships, Sex and Health Education lessons. We have brought forward an urgent review of the curriculum, with the help of an expert panel.
“We are clear that any materials must be fact-based and age appropriate, and schools should never be teaching contested views as fact. As part of this review, we will consider introducing age ratings to make clear what is appropriate to be taught at what age.
“Separately, we are working on guidance to support schools in relation to children who are questioning their gender. This guidance will clarify schools’ legal position and the importance of involving parents when making any decisions relating to their child.”
Dr Anna Loutfi has been contacted for comment by PinkNews.
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