Kemi Badenoch issues chilling hint that UK government will force teachers to out trans kids to parents

Kemi Badenoch

Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch has issued the strongest hint yet that the UK government will force teachers to out trans kids to their parents. 

Talking to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg on Sunday (16 July), Badenoch spoke about the forthcoming government guidance for teachers with trans pupils in schools, which is expected to be released later this week. 

After Kuenssberg asked if teachers should have to inform parents if children want to change gender, Badenoch responded in a way that confirmed the fears of the LGBTQ+ community.

Badenoch said she “can’t go into the specifics of what is going to be in the guidance” but said it will bring “clarity”. 

‘Important that parents are aware of what’s going on’

“There is quite a lot of confusion about what the law says and it’s important that parents are aware of what’s going on with their children and what’s happening to them at school,” Badenoch said.

“So what we’re doing is making sure that we have robust guidance that’s going to be able to stand up to scrutiny and that will be coming shortly.” 

You may like to watch

Kuenssberg then asked: “Is it possible thought that we have a situation where trans pupils might feel that teachers are outing them to their parents, even against their wishes?”

Badenoch responded: “I think we need to make sure that we don’t speculate too much on what’s going to be in the guidance. It’s best read in totality and within context. 

“The fact is, this is not a trivial thing, this is very different from sexual orientation and what is right is that parent’s know what is going on with their children at school. 

“It’s not for teachers to parent, it’s for parents to parent.”  

‘Teachers should do what’s in the best interest of the child’

The BBC Politics Twitter account condensed the interaction in a post, which saw many social media users respond with concerns over the danger the new guidance could put pupils in. 

“What if the child’s parents are religious and homophobic? What if they’re transphobic? Teachers should do what’s in the best interest of the child. You’d hope parents would do the same, but that’s not always the case,” one comment read. 

Other comments pointed out that parents don’t always know best, while another user wrote that pupils who open up to teachers may not feel comfortable doing so with their family. 

Some comments even suggested that the policy is best ignored for the safety of pupils. 

The new schools guidance is expected to advise teachers to inform parents without the consent of pupils that their children are exploring their gender, leaving some at risk of abuse at home. 

While the guidance is expected to have exceptions for children believed to be at risk of “significant harm”, there appears to be no nuance in understanding that families could have no safeguarding risks flagged to a school but simultaneously be transphobic. 

The hint from Badenoch follows a teacher revealing students’ horror at the Tories forcing schools to ‘out’ trans kids, with one begging their teacher not to tell their mum that they’re trans.

Previously, when asked about safeguarding concerns regarding the policy, the Department for Education instead provided PinkNews with background information on the government reviewing Relationships, Sex, Health and Education (RSHE) lessons. 

LGBTQ+ charities, however, have slammed the proposed policies as “badly thought out”.